CDC: One in Four Adults Uninsured Last Year

Article excerpt

An estimated 59.1 million Americans, including one in four adults aged 18-64 years, went without health insurance for at least part of the previous year, based on interviews done January-March 2010, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported.

Although the percentage of children and teenagers without health insurance fell slightly, the total number of Americans who lacked insurance at some point in the year increased from 58.7 million in 2009, and the total has risen more than 4% since 2008 (MMWR 2010 Nov. 9 [Early Release]: 1-7)

At the same time, the number of Americans without insurance coverage for more than a year increased by 1.1 million to 33.9 million, the CDC reported.

About 84% of those who reported gaps in their health insurance coverage during the last year were aged 18-64, according to the report.

The number of middle-income adults reporting coverage gaps also increased. About 32% of adults under age 64 living in middle-income families - those with incomes of approximately $43,000-$65,000 for a family of four - reported being uninsured for at least part of the previous 12 months, indicating that problems with insurance coverage are extending further into the middle class.

"All of our measures of uninsurance have increased and increased substantially," Dr. Thomas Frieden, CDC director, said at a press conference. "There are multiple factors contributing to that increase."

The CDC conducted in-person interviews of a sample of the U. …