An estimated 48.6 million U.S. residents lacked health insurance in 2011, 1.3 million fewer than in 2010 and the first decline since 2007, the U.S. Census Bureau reported on Sept. 12. The proportion of uninsured residents fell to 15.7% from 16.2% in 2010.
For the first time in a decade, the proportion of residents with private health coverage was unchanged in 2011 at 63.9%. Medicaid coverage increased by 0.7 percentage point, while Medicare coverage increased by 0.6 percentage point. The uninsurance rate decreased for all racial groups but Hispanics, which was unchanged at 30.1%.
Young adults under age 26 had the largest decline by age group (2.2 percentage points). Uninsured rates by household income ranged from 27.2% for those earning less than $25,000 a year to 6.6% for those earning $75,000 or more.
“Today's report is good news for patients, families and communities,” said American Hospital Association President and CEO Rich Umbdenstock. “Health coverage is critical to improving health through better access to care, and increased coverage helps ensure that patients receive the right care in the right place at the right time.”