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Life Health > Health Insurance > Health Insurance

Uninsured rate creeps up

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An increasing number of American adults lack health insurance, according to new Gallup numbers, and fewer than ever are getting it at work.

The uninsured rate for adults 26 to 64 has been rising since 2009, and now sits at 19.6 percent. It was in the 15 percent range during most of 2008.

The uninsured rate of young adults — 18-25-year-olds — also has inched back up, and now sits at 23.7 percent. It was at an all-time low of 22.7 percent at the end of last year.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s provision allowing young adults under 26 to stay on their parents’ health insurance has helped bring down the numbers in that age group.

The percentage of uninsured seniors has remained relatively stable, because so many of them qualify for Medicare.

Gallup also reported that fewer Americans than ever are getting health insurance from their employer.

Just 43.3 percent of American adults said they get coverage from an employer in the second quarter of this year, the lowest quarterly average Gallup and Healthways have recorded to date. Employer-based health insurance has been falling steadily since 2009.

Opponents of President Obama’s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act argue dropped health coverage is an unintended consequence of the law that will hurt employees who want to stick with the coverage they know and want.

About one in four adults receives health insureance through Medicare, Medicaid, or military/veterans’ benefits as has been the case since 2010. Another 11 percent said they got their health insurance through “something else,” which may mean they simply bought it themselves.

The Gallup numbers are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey April 1-June 30, 2013, with a random sample of 45,505 adults.


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