Satistical Brief #350
The uninsured population in the United States is an issue of public policy concern for several reasons. First, health insurance is viewed as necessary to ensure that people have access to medical care and protection against the risk of costly and unforeseen medical events. Second, timely and reliable estimates of the population's health insurance status are vital to evaluate the costs and expected impact of public policy interventions to expand coverage or to change the way that private and public insurance is funded. Finally, comparisons of the characteristics of insured and uninsured populations over time provide information on whether greater equity has been achieved in insurance coverage or whether serious gaps remain.
This Statistical Brief shows the estimated size of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population under age 65 that was uninsured throughout approximately the first half of 2010 and identifies groups especially at risk of lacking health insurance. Estimates from the Household Component of the 2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC) in this Brief show that health insurance status among people under age 65 varies according to demographic characteristics, such as age, race/ethnicity, sex, marital status, and Census region. All differences between estimates discussed in the text are statistically significant at the 0.05 level.
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