Health Insurance

Health Insurance Facts

Nearly 47 million Americans, or 16 percent of the population, were without health insurance in 2015.

The number of uninsured rose 2.2 million between 2014 and 2015 and has increased by almost 9 million people since 2014. The large majority of the uninsured (80 percent) are native or naturalized citizens.

The increase in the number of uninsured in 2015 was focused among working age adults. The percentage of working adults (18 to 64) who had no health coverage climbed from 19.7 percent in 2014 to 20.2 percent in 2015. Nearly 1.3 million full-time workers lost their health insurance in 2015.

Nearly 90 million people - about one-third of the population below the age of 65 spent a portion of either 2014 or 2015 without health coverage.

Over 8 in 10 uninsured people come from working families - almost 70 percent from families with one or more full-time workers and 11 percent from families with part-time workers.

The percentage of people (workers and dependents) with employment-based health insurance has dropped from 70 percent in 1987 to 59 percent in 2015. This is the lowest level of employment-based insurance coverage in more than a decade.

In 2015, nearly 15 percent of employees had no employer-sponsored health coverage available to them, either through their own job or through a family member.

In 2015, 37.7 million workers were uninsured because not all businesses offer health benefits, not all workers qualify for coverage and many employees cannot afford their share of the health insurance premium even when coverage is at their fingertips.

The number of uninsured children in 2015 was 8.7 million - or 11.7 percent of all children in the U.S. The number of children who are uninsured increased by nearly 610,000 in 2015, the second year that the number of uninsured children increased.

Young adults (18-to-24 years old) remained the least likely of any age group to have health insurance in 2015 - 29.3 percent of this group did not have health insurance.

The percentage and the number of uninsured Hispanics increased to 34.1 percent and 15.3 million in 2015.

Nearly 40 percent of the uninsured population reside in households that earn $50,000 or more.

A growing number of middle-income families cannot afford health insurance payments even when coverage is offered by their employers.

How does being uninsured harm individuals and families?

Lack of insurance compromises the health of the uninsured because they receive less preventive care, are diagnosed at more advanced disease stages, and once diagnosed, tend to receive less therapeutic care and have higher mortality rates than insured individuals.

Regardless of age, race, ethnicity, income or health status, uninsured children were much less likely to have received a well-child checkup within the past year. One study shows that nearly 50 percent of uninsured children did not receive a checkup in 2015, almost twice the rate (26 percent) for insured children.

The uninsured are increasingly paying “up front” -- before services will be rendered. When they are unable to pay the full medical bill in cash at the time of service, they can be turned away except in life-threatening circumstances.

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