The number of people without health insurance coverage declined from 47 million (15.8 percent) in 2006 to 45.7 million (15.3 percent) in 2007.
This statistic was part of the annual report of the U.S. Census bureau's annual statistical analysis.
The report echoes data generated by Information Strategies, Inc. (ISI) parent of HSAFinder.com.
In ISI's studies of HSA users, it found that one in three adopters had no health insurance prior to purchasing an HSA. The number of new HSA users without prior healhcare insurance corresponds closely with the decline in uninsured.
In the same report, children without health insurance droped by 11.7% to just 9.1 million last year.
Experts attribute this to state funded programs and other initiatives aimed at this population sector.
Among the report's other findings:
- Race and Hispanic Origin (Race data refer to those reporting a single race only. Hispanics can be of any race.)
- Both the number and percentage of uninsured for non-Hispanic whites decreased in 2007, to 10.4 percent and 20.5 million, respectively.
- For blacks, the number of uninsured remained statistically unchanged from 2006, at 7.4 million, while the percentage declined from 20.5 percent in 2006 to 19.5 percent in 2007.
- The uninsured rate for Asians rose from 15.5 percent in 2006 to 16.8 percent in 2007.
- The number and percentage of uninsured Hispanics decreased from 15.3 million and 34.1 percent in 2006 to 14.8 million and 32.1 percent in 2007.
- Based on a three-year average (2005-2007), 32.1 percent of people who reported American Indian and Alaska Native as their race were without coverage. The three-year average uninsured rate for Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders was 20.5 percent.
- Between 2006 and 2007, the uninsured rate for the native-born population declined from 13.2 percent in 2006 to 12.7 percent in 2007.
- Meanwhile, the percentage of the foreign-born population without insurance was statistically unchanged at 33.2 percent in 2007.
- Among the foreign-born population, the uninsured rate for naturalized U.S. citizens increased from16.4 percent in 2006 to 17.6 percent in 2007, while the uninsured rate for U.S. noncitizens was statistically unchanged from 2006, at 43.8 percent in 2007.
There were differences by regions in the numbers reported by the Census bureau.
At 11.4 percent each, the Northeast and the Midwest had lower uninsured rates in 2007 than the West (16.9 percent) and the South (18.4 percent). The rates declined from 2006 in every region except for the Midwest, where the change was not statistically significant.
By state, rates for 2005-2007 using a three-year average show that Texas (24.4 percent) had the highest percentage of uninsured.
Interestingly, states with mandatory or high requirements were not statistically different than states with lower insurance mandates.
No one state had the “lowest” uninsured rate. At 8.3 percent, Massachusetts and Hawaii had the lowest point estimates for uninsured rates, but they were not statistically different from Minnesota (8.5 percent), Wisconsin (8.8 percent) and Iowa (9.4 percent). In addition, Hawaii was not statistically different from Maine (9.5 percent).
Comparing a pair of two-year average uninsured rates (2004-2005 versus 2006-2007), five states and the District of Columbia saw a decline, while 10 states experienced an increase.
The full report is available at http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/income_wealth/012528.html.