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Percentage of the population that does not have health insurance privately, through their employer, or the government. Two year average.

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Lack of Health Insurance

United States Lack of Health Insurance (1990-2013) see more
  • Percentage of the population that does not have health insurance privately, through their employer or the government. Annual rate.
  • Percentage of the population that does not have health insurance privately, through their employer or the government. Annual rate, revised CPS method of estimation.
  • Percentage of the population that does not have health insurance privately, through their employer, or the government. Two year average.

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Overview

Lack of Health Insurance is the percentage of the population not covered by private or public health insurance. The 2013 ranks are based on 2011 and 2012 data from the Annual Social and Economic Supplement Bureau of the Current Population Survey.

Individuals without health insurance have more difficulty accessing the health care system, are often unable to participate in preventive care programs, and have more unmet health needs.[1] In addition to decreasing quality of life, these unmet health needs can place a substantial burden on the health care system. Over time, unmet health needs can develop into more serious conditions which require more costly treatments. Lack of health insurance often leads to more emergency department visits which can cost up to 10 times more than treatment in a clinic.[2] For these reasons and many more, uninsured individuals have consistently been found to have worse health outcomes.[3] Among the uninsured, preventative health care services are less utilized and cancer mortality rates are higher.[4] Overall, the unmet health needs of the uninsured translate into a 25 percent greater risk of mortality compared to those with insurance, accounting for an estimated 18,000 excess deaths annually.[5]

The prevalence of the population without health insurance ranges from a low of 3.8 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 24.2 percent in Texas. Nationally, 15.6 percent of the US population are uninsured.

The Healthy People 2020 access to health services leading health indicator target is to increase the proportion of persons with medical insurance to 100 percent.



[1] Ayanian JZ. Unmet health needs of uninsured adults in the United States. JAMA. 2000;284(16):2061.

[2] Newton MF. Uninsured adults presenting to US emergency departments. JAMA. 2008;300(16):1914.

[3] Freeman JD. The causal effect of health insurance on utilization and outcomes in adults: A systematic review of US studies. Med Care. 2008;46(10):1023.

[4] Ward E. Association of insurance with cancer care utilization and outcomes. Ca. 2008;58(1):9.

[5] Ayanian JZ. Unmet health needs of uninsured adults in the United States. JAMA. 2000;284(16):2061.