The economy warmed up a bit in 2011, from post-apocalyptic to just horrible, and that helped increase enrollment in employer-sponsored group health plans and other commercial plans, a little bit.
The Census Bureau tells the story in a big new report that includes health insurance coverage data along with poverty data.
The good health insurance stuff starts on page 65 of the paper report and on page 73 of the PDF.
The share of the 308,827 U.S. residents with some kind of health coverage increased to 84.3% in 2011, from 83.7% in 2010, but only because the share of people with government coverage increased to 32.2%, from 31.2%. Medicaid grew a little faster than Medicare.
The share of the population with individual coverage fell to 9.8%, from 9.9%, and the share with group coverage fell to 55.1%, from 55.3%.
Trends in the share of people with group health coverage varied a lot by age.
Because of the young adult dependent coverage provision in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (PPACA) — a requirement that group health plans that offer family coverage let enrollees keep adult dependents on their coverage up to age 26 — the share of U.S. residents ages 18 to 24 who had group coverage jumped to 46.3%, from 45.7%.