People who are uninsured are less likely than
those with insurance to seek preventive care,
which can result in poor health outcomes and
higher health care costs. In 2005, 44.4 million
non-elderly individuals in the United States,
representing 17.2 percent of that population,
were uninsured.1 The percentage of people who
are uninsured varies considerably across a
number of categories, including age, sex,
race/ethnicity, income, and education.
In 2005, among adults aged 18 and older,
younger persons were most likely to lack health
insurance, and men were more likely than
women to be uninsured in every age group. The
largest percentage of uninsured persons occurred
among 18- to 24-year old males (32.6 percent),
which was significantly higher than the percentage
for women of the same age group
(26.0 percent). The lowest rate of uninsurance
was among adults aged 65 and older, most of
whom are eligible for Medicare coverage. The
next lowest rates of uninsured occurred among
women and men aged 45—64 (13.3 and 14.0
percent); however, the gender disparity was less
pronounced than in the younger age groups.
Among women aged 18—64 in 2005, 71.8
percent had private insurance, 14.6 percent had
public insurance, and 17.8 percent were uninsured.
This distribution varied by race and ethnicity: non-Hispanic White females had the highest rate of
private insurance coverage (79.0 percent), followed
by Asian/Pacific Islander women (72.9 percent).
Non-Hispanic Black females had the highest rate of
public insurance (24.0 percent), and Hispanic
females had the highest rate of being uninsured (36.9
percent), followed closely by American
Indian/Alaska Native women (33.4 percent).
[Respondents were able to report more than one type