More Americans Went Without Health Insurance in 2018

WASHINGTON (CN) – The number of Americans without health insurance grew by 1.9 million in 2018, the U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

The bureau found that 27.5 million people went without health insurance in 2018, up from the 25.6 million people who went without in 2017. This is the first “year-to-year” increase in the percent of uninsured individuals in a decade. 

The percentage of people with public coverage decreased by 0.4 percentage points, but the percentage of people with private and employer-based coverage held steady during this time span. 

Only 3.3% of insured individuals – 30.8% of people with direct-purchase insurance – purchased their coverage through a federal or state marketplace. Employer-based insurance is the most common, covering 55.1% of Americans, according to the bureau.   

The number of children under 19 without health insurance rose, and the number of people covered by Medicare jumped in 2018. 

“This increase was driven by growth in the number of people age 65 and over,” the bureau said in a press release.

The bureau also released a report on income and poverty in the U.S. Tuesday. There was no significant increase in household income in 2018 – the first time in three years that there has not been a significant increase –moving only slightly up from $62,626 in 2017 to $63,179 in 2018 when adjusted for inflation. 

However, the number of Americans in poverty decreased for the fourth year in a row, decreasing in 2018 by 0.5 percentage points. This brings the number of people in poverty to approximately 38.1 million Americans. 

“[F]or the first time in 11 years, the official poverty rate was significantly lower than 2007, the year before the most recent recession,” the bureau said.

All comparisons made in the reports are statistically significant at the 90% confidence level, meaning that all percentages have an error margin of plus or minus 0.2%, according to the bureau.

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