Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data indicates that 16.4% of adults were uninsured in 2010, statistically unchanged from 2009, but up about 11% from 14.8% in 2008. Meanwhile, the percentage of American adults getting healthcare from their employer decreased to 45.8% in 2010 down 2% from 46.8% in 2009 and 7% from 49.2% in 2008. About one in six American adults is uninsured.
Govt. Healthcare on the Rise
Government healthcare, on the other hand, is on the rise, with 25.3% of adults saying they got their health coverage through Medicare, Medicaid, or military/veterans’ benefits, up about 3% from 24.6% in 2009 and 8% from 23.4% in 2008. The percentage of Americans who report they receive healthcare through some other means, which would include buying their own coverage, has been stable during the past three years.
2010 Results Reflect Long-term Trends
The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index began tracking American adults’ healthcare coverage in January 2008. Gallup analysis found the monthly percentage of uninsured adults started to increase in November 2008, rising above 16% for the first time in February 2009 and remaining above that level ever since.
During the same period of time, Gallup has also tracked a steady rise in the monthly percentage of Americans who report they have government healthcare and a decline in employer-based coverage.
Hispanic, Low-Income, and Young Adult Americans Remain Most Uninsured
Hispanic Americans continue to be the most likely to be uninsured, with 38.9% going without coverage in 2010, down about 2.5% from 39.9% in 2009, but still 5% higher than 37% in 2008. Nearly three in 10 low-income Americans were uninsured in 2010, essentially unchanged from 2009, but up more than 12% from 26.4% in 2008.
Young adults between the ages of 18 and 26, beneficiaries of a key piece of the new healthcare law that allows children up to the age of 26 to remain on their parents’ plan, are still among the most likely in the country to be uninsured at 28% in 2010. However, that is down slightly from 28.6% in 2009.
Seniors, Wealthy Least Likely Lack Insurance
Seniors, the group of Americans who automatically qualify for Medicare, and high-income Americans remain the least likely to be uninsured, with 3.1% and 4.7%, respectively, reporting no coverage in 2010.
Overall, there was little change from 2009 to 2010 in the percentage of Americans who are uninsured across socioeconomic and demographic groups; in most groups, the variation was less than one percentage point. More Americans in almost every group, however, were uninsured in 2010 than in 2008.
About the Data Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 1-Dec. 31, 2010, with a random sample of 340,834 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.