The number of Americans without health insurance decreased for the first time in four years, according to the 2011 U.S. Census Bureau report. Results of the report, released earlier today, showed that 48.6 million people were uninsured in 2011, compared to 50 million in 2010. The percentage of those without coverage dropped as well, from 16.3 percent in 2010 to 15.7 percent in 2011.
This was also the first time in 10 years that the percentage of people covered by private health insurance, at 63.9 percent for 2011, did not decrease. The percentage of Americans covered by employment-based health insurance held steady with the 2010 percentage as well, coming in at 55.1 percent for 2011.
The following are other numbers of note for 2011:
- The uninsured rate remained statistically unchanged for children under 19 years old, people age 26 to 34 and people age 45 to 64. It declined, however, for people age 19 to 25, age 35 to 44 and those age 65 and older.
- The number of people with health insurance increased to 260.2 million in 2011 from 256.6 million in 2010, as did the percentage of people with health insurance (84.3 percent in 2011, compared to 83.7 percent in 2010).
- The percentage of people covered by government health insurance increased from 31.2 percent to 32.2 percent. The percentage covered by Medicaid increased from 15.8 percent in 2010 to 16.5 percent in 2011. The percentage covered by Medicare also rose over the period, from 14.6 percent to 15.2 percent.
With the Presidential race in full swing, Obama supporters are already crediting health care reform for the increase in the number of Americans with health insurance coverage. Why do you think the number rose? Leave a comment below.