Nearly three in 10 adults living in Texas (27.8%) do not have health insurance, making it the state with the highest uninsured rate in the country in 2010, according to new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data. Meanwhile, by a significant margin, Massachusetts – where state law requires all adult residents to have health insurance – continues to have the lowest percentage of uninsured residents at 4.7%.
Natl. Uninsured Percentage Up From ’08
At the national level, 16.4% of adults were uninsured in 2010, statistically unchanged from 16.2% in 2009, but up about 12% from 14.8% in 2008. At the state level, Mississippi and Louisiana also have high rates of uninsured residents, with about one in four lacking coverage, while Connecticut, Minnesota, and Hawaii have relatively low uninsured rates, with about one in 10 adults not carrying health insurance in each.
South, West Have Highest Uninsured Rates
Gallup data indicates that in 2010, Southern and Western states have a disproportionately large percentage of uninsured residents, as they did in 2009 and 2008. Gallup says this geographic pattern is likely tied at least in part to these states’ larger Hispanic populations, as Gallup finds Hispanic Americans are the demographic group most likely to be uninsured in the US, at 38.9% in 2010.
Seven out of the 10 states with the fewest uninsured residents are in the Northeast, similar to past years. Four of the other five are all in either the Plains or Midwest (Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Wisconsin), with non-contiguous Hawaii also having one of the lowest rates.
Uninsured Rates Up or Unchanged in Most States in 2010
Most states saw a rise or no change in the percentage of uninsured residents in 2010 compared with 2009. Wyoming was the lone state where the uninsured rate decreased to a significant degree in 2010. More Americans in almost all states, however, were uninsured in 2010 than in 2008.
For example, the percentage of adults without healthcare coverage in Texas rose about 11%, from 25% in 2008 to 27.8% in 2010. The uninsured rate is up the most since 2008 in Kentucky (31%), Utah (30%), Florida (22%), and Louisiana (20%).
Fewer Americans Get Employer Healthcare
The percentage of American adults getting healthcare from their employer decreased to 45.8% in 2010, according to other recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index data. That figure is down 2% from 46.8% in 2009 and 7% from 49.2% in 2008.
About the Data: Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey Jan. 2-Dec. 29, 2010, with a random sample of 352,840 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 US states and the District of Columbia, selected using random-digit-dial sampling.