U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration

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Health Insurance

People who are uninsured are less likely than those with insurance to seek health care, which can result in poor health outcomes and higher health care costs. In 2007, 37.5 million adults (16.7 percent) were uninsured. Adults aged 18-64 accounted for 36.8 million of those uninsured, representing 19.6 percent of that population (data not shown).1 The percentage of people who are uninsured varies considerably across a number of categories, including age, sex, race and ethnicity, income, and education.

Among adults in 2007, those aged 18–24 years were most likely to lack health insurance. Men were more likely than women to be uninsured in every age group. The highest rate of uninsurance occurred among 18- to 24-yearold men (30.1 percent), which was substantially higher than the percentage for women of the same age group (26.2 percent). The lowest rate of uninsurance was among adults aged 65 and older, most of whom are eligible for Medicare coverage. The next lowest percentage of uninsured occurred among women and men aged 45–64 (13.3 and 14.6 percent, respectively); the sex disparity in this age group was less pronounced than in the younger age groups.

Among women aged 18–64 in 2007, 71.5 percent had private insurance, 15.0 percent had public insurance, and 17.6 percent were uninsured. This distribution varied by race and ethnicity: non-Hispanic White females had the highest rate of private insurance coverage (78.9 percent), followed by Asian/Pacific Islander women (72.6 percent). American Indian/Alaska Native females had the highest rate of public insurance coverage (23.9 percent) followed closely by non-Hispanic Black women (23.3 percent). Hispanic females had the highest rate of uninsurance (36.6 percent), followed by American Indian/Alaska Native women (30.7 percent). [Respondents were able to report more than one type of coverage.]

1 This statistic does not include adults aged 65 and older because that is the age when people become eligible for Medicare coverage based on age.

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