Uninsurance Among Full-Time, Low-Income Workers Jumped in a Decade
AHRQ News and Numbers, August 13, 2009
The proportion of low-income workers who were uninsured increased from 26 percent in 1996 to 34.5 percent by 2006, according to the latest News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The average household income for a family in 2006 was $40,888.
The Federal agency's analysis found that among full-time, low-income workers between 1996 and 2006:
- There was a significant increase in the proportion of workers ages 18 to 34 without health insurance, increasing from 30 percent to 38 percent. For workers ages 35 to 49, the comparable shift in uninsured rates went from 22 percent to 32 percent.
- The proportion of uninsured workers in firms with less than 25 employees jumped from 39 percent to 50 percent. Uninsured workers in firms employing 25 to 99 employees and in those with 100 or more employees saw their ranks rise from 22 percent to 31 percent and from 11 percent to 14 percent, respectively.
- The proportion of non-Hispanic Black workers and White workers without health insurance increased from 18 percent to 27 percent and 22 percent to 28 percent, respectively.
- Among industry categories, workers in professional services had the largest increase in the proportion without health insurance, expanding from 11.5 percent to 26.4 percent.
AHRQ, which is part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, improves the quality, safety, efficiency, and effectiveness of health care for all Americans. The data in this AHRQ News and Numbers summary are taken from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), a detailed source of information on the health services used by Americans, the frequency with which they are used, the cost of those services, and how they are paid. For more information, go to Full-Time Poor and Low-Income Workers: Demographic Characteristics and Trends in Health Insurance Coverage, 1996-97 to 2005-06.
For more information, or to speak with an AHRQ data expert, please contact Bob Isquith at Bob.Isquith@ahrq.hhs.gov (301) 427-1539.