Study Finds 45.5M U.S. Residents Lacked Health Care Coverage in 2012


About 45 million U.S. residents -- or 14.7% -- did not have health insurance in 2012, according to an annual survey released Thursday by CDC, KPCC's "On Central" reports.

Survey Background

The CDC's National Health Interview Survey highlights the state of the uninsured in the U.S., as state and federal health officials continue working to implement the Affordable Care Act. Beginning in October, U.S. residents will be able to enroll in health insurance exchanges created under the ACA (Martinez, "On Central," KPCC, 6/19).

Survey Results

Specifically, the survey found in 2012:

  • 57.7 million U.S. residents were uninsured for part of the year (Block, Modern Healthcare, 6/19);
  • More than 26% of young adults ages 19 to 25 were uninsured; and
  • Nearly five million, or 7%, children under age 18 were uninsured ("On Central," KPCC, 6/19).

The survey revealed a three-percentage-point decline from 2011 to 2012 in the number of young adults who went without coverage for at least part of the prior year, from about 36% to 33%. There was no difference in the percentage of uninsured in 2012 among other age groups, according to the findings (Modern Healthcare, 6/19).

The survey also analyzed the 2012 rates of uninsured by demographic groups:

  • Men were more likely than women to be uninsured;
  • Adults without a high school diploma or a job were more likely to be uninsured;
  • More than 40% of low-income individuals were uninsured;
  • 11% of whites were uninsured;
  • About 15% of Asians were uninsured;
  • More than 16% of blacks were uninsured; and
  • 29% of Latinos were uninsured ("On Central," KPCC, 6/19).

The survey showed that 45.5 million U.S. residents -- or 14.7% of the population -- were uninsured at the time they were interviewed, including about 26.4% of adults and 6.6% of children under age 18.

In addition, the survey showed that Massachusetts had the lowest uninsured rate in 2012, at 4.8%, while Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas tied for the highest, at 20.9% (Modern Healthcare, 6/19).

With regard to California's population, more than 17% were uninsured, more than 1 in 3 were covered by a public health plan and more than 54% had private coverage ("On Central," KPCC, 6/19).

Rudy LehderRivas
I disagree with the percentage of Hispanics in California that are currently un-insured (of course the survey was taken in 2012). The rate of 29% is low and in my opinion is in the 30's even as high as 35%. It is of my opinion that Hispanics don't normally participate in surveys (cultural hesitation). Rudy Lehder Rivas, President Hispanic Medicaid

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