The yearly census report on the uninsured is out. It’s the usual bad news:
In 2010, the percentage was 16.3%, compared to 16.1% in 2009. Among the non-elderly, 18.4% of individuals were uninsured in 2010, which is not statistically different from the nonelderly uninsured rate of 18.2% in 2009. During 2010, 49.9 million people were without insurance.
That’s up from about 49 million in 2009. Private insurance coverage continues to shrink, from 56.1% of the population in 2009 to 55.3% this year; it was 64.1% in 1999.
The one bit of good news?
However, 18-24 year olds were the only age group to experience a significant increase in the percentage with health insurance over the past year, from 70.7% in 2009 to 72.8% in 2010. This is a two percentage point increase in the share of adults 18-24 with coverage and represents 500,000 more young adults with health insurance. The Affordable Care Act allows children to remain on their parents’ plans until age 26, and this policy took effect for insurance plan renewals beginning on September 23, 2010. Given that the fraction with health coverage was stable or decreasing in other groups, the two percentage point increase in share with health coverage among 18-24 year olds almost certainly reflects the effects of the extension of dependent coverage to age 26.
Nice to see that part of the ACA working already!
Also, say what you want about single-payer (Medicare), but it sure prevents uninsurance: