Study Of Uninsured Finds Wide Disparity Among States
At least 20 million working Americans do not have health care insurance coverage, ranging from a high of 26.9% of the adult population of Texas to a low of 6.5% in Minnesota, a new analysis of federal data from 2002 shows.
The analysis, by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton, N.J., found that in 6 states, at least 1 in 5 working adults were uninsured. In addition to Texas, states with the highest rates of uninsured working adults were Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Mexico and Oklahoma.
In 38 other states, at least 1 in 10 working adults did not have health insurance, according to the RWJFs analysis of data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.
States with the lowest rates of all uninsured adults ages 18-64 were Minnesota (7.8%), Hawaii (10.2%), Delaware (10.3%), Iowa (10.7%) and Massachusetts (10.7%).
The study also suggests that a lack of health care insurance goes hand in hand with a number of health-related problems. For instance, adults who lack health insurance receive much less medical care than the insured, thus they are much more likely to report feeling in poor or fair health.
Nationally, 19% of the uninsured reported being unable to get needed medical care in the previous 12 months, compared to 5% of those with health coverage.
Again, the RWJF report found a wide disparity among states. Among the uninsured population, the percentage reporting being unable to get needed care ranged from roughly 29% in Hawaii to about 8% in South Dakota.
Uninsured adults were also less likely to have a personal doctor or other health care provider. Nationally, 56% of adults with no health insurance say they do not have a personal provider, compared with 16% of those with health insurance.
California scored the worst on this point, with around 71% of the uninsured reporting having no personal provider. In addition, more than 60% of the uninsured in Hawaii, Colorado, Nevada and New Mexico report having no personal provider.