Printer Friendly

NUMBER OF UNINSURED AMERICANS REACHED 36.3 MILLION IN 1991, ACCORDING TO EBRI TABULATIONS

 NUMBER OF UNINSURED AMERICANS REACHED 36.3 MILLION IN 1991,
 ACCORDING TO EBRI TABULATIONS
 /ADVANCE/ WASHINGTON, Oct. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- More than 36 million Americans -- 16.6 percent of the non-elderly population -- did not have private or public health insurance in 1991, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)(A). The number of non-elderly uninsured Americans increased to 36.3 million in 1991, up from 35.7 million in 1990, 34.4 million in 1989, and 33.6 million in 1988. EBRI's 1991 figures reflect the most recent statistics available on the medically uninsured as tabulated from the March 1992 Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Census.
 While the number of non-elderly persons without health insurance increased in the last year, the percentage of the population without health insurance remained unchanged at 16.6 percent from 1990 to 1991. More than one-half of those without health insurance in 1991 were workers, 26 percent were children, and 17 percent were non-workers. The number of persons with private health insurance declined from 158.3 million in 1990 (73.3 percent of the non-elderly population) to 157.7 million in 1991 (72.3 percent of the non-elderly population).
 The number of Americans without health insurance represents a long-standing public policy concern and, along with heath care costs, is a key issue in the presidential campaign. To reform the health care system, President Bush has proposed using market incentives such as tax credits for low-income families and tax deductions toward the purchase of health insurance for middle income families and reforming the small group insurance market. Gov. Bill Clinton proposes overhauling the current system by requiring employers to provide insurance for all workers, creating a public pool to cover the uninsured, reforming the small group insurance market and establishing a national health budget to control costs. Independent candidate Ross Perot has released few details about his plans for reform but says he advocates universal health care coverage administered by an independent federal agency, coupled with reduced income tax deductions for employers offering very generous health plans.
 EBRI's analysis of the population's insurance coverage allows insights into the potential effects of some of the reform proposals.
 Characteristics of the population without health insurance include:
 -- In 1991, 84.7 of the uninsured lived in a family headed by a worker. Although some of the uninsured were in families whose family head experienced unemployment during 1991, 53 percent were in families whose family head was employed throughout the year on a full-time basis.
 -- In 1991, 47.6 percent of all uninsured workers were either self-employed or working in firms with fewer than 25 employees, compared with 49.4 percent in 1990. Twenty-eight percent of workers in firms with fewer than 10 employees were uninsured in 1991.
 -- The proportion of people with income below poverty who did not have health insurance was 32.6 percent in 1991, compared with 33.3 percent in 1990. The proportion of individuals with income below poverty who had either public or private insurance increased slightly, from 66.7 percent in 1990 to 67.4 percent in 1991.
 -- The number of children who were uninsured in 1991 was 9.5 million, or 14.7 percent of all children, compared with 9.8 million, or 15.3 percent of all children, in 1990. Although children were slightly less likely to be covered by group health insurance (61 percent), a large percentage of children was covered under publicly sponsored plans (23 percent). Most of this coverage (21 percent) was provided by Medicaid.
 Characteristics of the population with health insurance include:
 -- The number of non-elderly persons with employer-sponsored group health insurance remain 139.8 million in 1990 and 1991, even though the total number of workers grew so that the percentage of the non-elderly population with group health insurance declined from 64.8 percent in 1990 to 64.1 percent in 1991. (The significance of these declines should not be overstated because small changes may be at least partially related to sampling error.)
 -- The number of non-elderly Americans receiving coverage through public sources rose from 29.2 million in 1990 to 31.7 million in 1991. Most of the increase in publicly sponsored coverage can be attributed to increased Medicaid coverage, primarily among children. The Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 required states to expand coverage to all children living in poverty who were born after September 1983. The number of children with Medicaid coverage rose from 13.2 million in 1990 to 14.7 million in 1991.
 Other findings of the EBRI tabulations are:
 -- Non-workers were most likely to be uninsured (22 percent).
 -- More than 71 percent of workers were covered by an employer plan.
 -- At least 20 percent of the non-elderly population in 10 states and the District of Columbia were without health insurance in 1991: District of Columbia (30.3 percent), Texas (25.3 percent), Louisiana (23.8 percent), Florida (23.5 percent), Nevada (21.8 percent), California (21.7 percent), Mississippi (22.1 percent), Oklahoma (22.1 percent), Arizona (21.1 percent), Alabama (20.6 percent), and Idaho (20.6 percent). Most of these states generally have a lower median income and/or higher poverty rate than the United States as a whole.
 A complete report with additional information on the sources of health insurance coverage in the United States will be released by EBRI in January.
 EBRI is a non-profit, non-partisan, public policy research organization based in Washington.
 (A) EBRI analysis includes persons under age 65 and excludes active duty military workers and members of their families. EBRI analysis of the CPS differs slightly from Census Bureau analysis. When children under age 15 have conflicting answers to health insurance coverage questions, EBRI allocates coverage only to those children whose family head is covered by health insurance, while the Census Bureau allocates coverage to all children with a positive response to one of the health insurance coverage questions even if there is a conflict. Also, if a child under age 15 is reported to have health insurance coverage from someone residing outside the household, EBRI allocates coverage to that child only if the family is receiving other financial assistance from someone outside the household, while the Census Bureau allocates coverage to all children with a reported source outside the household.
 -0- 10/30/92
 /CONTACT: Carolyn Piucci, 202-775-6341, Bill Custer, 202-775-6328, or Jill Foley, 202-775-6331, all of the Employee Benefit Research Institute/ CO: Employee Benefit Research Institute ST: District of Columbia IN: INS HEA SU: ECO


KD -- DC011 -- 6602 10/29/92 12:58 EST
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 29, 1992
Words:1098
Previous Article:INDUSTRIAL HOLDINGS ANNOUNCES CLOSING OF LANDRETH ACQUISITION AND DISCLOSES LARGE INSTITUTIONAL INVESTOR
Next Article:INLAND EMPIRE OFFICE ABSORPTION UP IN THIRD QUARTER; VACANCIES CONTINUE TO FALL, REPORT REVEALS


Related Articles
NUMBER OF UNINSURED AMERICANS INCREASES TO 35.7 MILLION
NUMBER OF UNINSURED AMERICANS REACHED 36.6 MILLION IN 1991, ACCORDING TO MOST RECENT DATA RELEASED IN NEW EBRI REPORT
An EBRI Health Care Resource: Health Care Data Profile the Uninsured in Larger U.S. Metro Areas.
New EBRI Report: Ranks of the Uninsured Continue to Grow, Even as Job-Based Health Coverage Increases.
EBRI Health Resource: Both Uninsured and Job-Based Health Coverage Are Growing, Congress Told.
Patients' Rights & Tax Bills Pending: How Tax Changes Might Affect Health Coverage Assessed in New Book by EBRI.
New EBRI Report: Job-Based Health Coverage Continues to Expand, As Growth of Uninsured Appears to Slow.
New EBRI Research: Job-Based Benefits Increased in 2000, Uninsured Declined, But Trend May Not Last.
New EBRI Research: Erosion of Health Benefits Seen As Start of New Trend.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2016 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters