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Private health enrollment rises

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The number of Americans with private health coverage increased a little in 2012, although the percentage with private coverage flattened out.

The Census Bureau published the health insurance enrollment numbers in a new report.

The total size of the U.S. population increased 0.7 percent, to 311 million, and the number with some kind of health coverage rose 1.1 percent, to 263 million.

Medicare was the health insurance leader. The number of people in Medicare plans jumped 4.2 percent, to 49 million.

Medicaid lagged. Medicaid enrollment inched up just 0.1 percent, to 51 million.

The number of people with commercial insurance rose 0.8 percent, to 199 million. Enrollment in group plans increased 0.5 percent, to 171 million, and ownership of individual policies climbed 1.2 percent, to 31 million.

The number of people with group coverage was the highest the Census Bureau has reported since 2008, and the number of people with individual policies was the highest since 1994.

The percentage of the population with health coverage was 84.6 percent in 2012, up a little from 84.3 percent a year earlier.

Private health insurance covered 63.9 percent of the population, the same as in 2011. 

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