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 Health Insurance Coverage for Children up in 2004; Number of Uninsured Adults Stable 
 
by Centers for Disease Control - 7/6/2005
Health insurance coverage for children showed continued improvement in 2004, and the percentage of working-age adults without insurance coverage, which had been climbing in recent years, did not increase last year, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The data, based on CDC’s National Health Interview Survey, provides estimates of insurance coverage for the United States in 2004. For the first time, the latest survey also includes statistics on insurance coverage for the nation’s 10 largest states.

The report, which tracks insurance coverage since 1997, finds that the improvement in coverage for children reflects an increase in public coverage—including the State Children’s Health Insurance Program--for poor and near-poor children.

Highlights of the report include:

  • In 2004, over 90 percent of America’s children had health insurance at the time of the interview – a steady rise from the first report in 1997. In 2004, 9.4 percent of children – 7 million children under 18 years of age – were without health insurance. In contrast, in 1997, about 14 percent – 10 million children – lacked coverage.
     
  • Among poor and near-poor children, lack of coverage dropped by about a third from 1997. For near-poor children, public coverage almost doubled from 24 percent to 43 percent between 1997 and 2004. Nearly 70 percent of poor children under 18 years of age rely on public coverage.
     
  • Overall, 14.6 percent of the population – 42.1 million Americans of all ages – was without current health insurance coverage in 2004, about the same level as in 1997. One in five working-age adults (age 18 to 64) were without insurance in 2004. This number had been steadily rising in recent years but appears to have leveled off in 2004.
     
  • One in five working-age adults (age 18-64) were without insurance in 2004. This number had been steadily rising in recent years but appears to have leveled off in 2004.
     
  • The survey produced health insurance coverage estimates for the 10 largest states. For the population under age 65, Michigan, New York, Ohio and Pennsylvania had considerably lower rates of uninsured than the national average of 16 percent. In California and Florida, just over 20 percent were without health coverage, and in Texas, about 27 percent lacked coverage.

These findings appear in “Health Insurance Coverage: Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, 2004,” gathered from the annual household survey with a sample of the nation’s civilian non-institutionalized population. In 2004, the survey, conducted by CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics, added questions to improve the accuracy of the estimates on insurance coverage.

In addition to insurance coverage, the survey collects data on a wide range of health indicators, including measures of health care utilization, health habits and health status. The findings are on the CDC website at www.cdc.gov/nchs.
 

   
Provided by Centers for Disease Control on 7/6/2005
 
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