Health

Census Bureau: 28M Americans lacked health coverage in 2020

An estimated 28 million Americans lacked health insurance in 2020, according to new data from the Census Bureau.

That represents about 8.6% of the population, according to the report. The bureau released its annual look at income, poverty and health coverage Tuesday morning, with the data collected each year through in-person and telephone polling.

The remaining 91.4% of Americans had coverage for either all or part of the year, according to the report. That did not represent a meaningful change in the uninsured rate compared to 2018.

A majority (66.5%) of people had private insurance, and 34.8% were enrolled in public insurance, with some people having more than one coverage type over the course of the year.

RELATED: Number of uninsured adults steady despite impact from COVID-19 pandemic: analysis

More than half, or 54.4%, of people had employer-sponsored insurance at some point during 2020, according to the Census Bureau. Eighty-seven percent of full-time workers had insurance through their employer, up from 85.1% in 2018.

Part-time workers were less likely to have access to employer coverage, according to the report, with 66.7% enrolled in employer plans in 2020. In 2018, that figure was 68.5%, the Census Bureau said.

Over the past two years, the number of people enrolled in public coverage increased slightly, with the percentage of people in private plans ticking down in tandem. Between 2018 and 2020, the rate of public insurance increased by 0.4 percentage points, including a 0.5 percentage point increase in Medicare enrollment.

However, even as increasing numbers of people age into the Medicare program, the proportion of people over 65 enrolled in Medicare declined slightly between 2018 and 2020. In 2018, 93.9% of people aged 65 and over were enrolled in Medicare, compared to 93.5% in 2020.

The report also found that more children under age 19 who are living in poverty were uninsured last year, with 9.3% lacking coverage. That represents a 1.6 percentage point increase from 2018.



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