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Statistics for health insurance coverage from the 2000 MEPS are now available

In early 2000, 16.1 percent of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population (44 million people) had no health insurance coverage, according to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's 2000 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS). MEPS collected nationally representative data from a sample of 25,000 civilian noninstitutionalized people on their health care use, expenditures, sources of payment, and insurance coverage. The new estimate is not significantly different statistically from the estimated 15.8 percent of the population (42.8 million people) who lacked health insurance in early 1999.

The MEPS survey is one of several that includes estimates of the uninsured population in addition to the data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau (Current Population Survey). Other statistics from the 2000 MEPS uninsured data include:

  • Young adults, ages 19-24, were at greatest risk of being uninsured, with one-third (33.1 percent) of this group lacking health insurance. This group was overrepresented among the uninsured, comprising just 9.5 percent of the total nonelderly population but 17.2 percent of the uninsured population.
  • Hispanics accounted for one-fourth (24.9 percent) of the uninsured nonelderly population, even though they represented only 12.9 percent of the entire population under age 65.
  • People who never married accounted for nearly one-fourth (23.7 percent) of the nonelderly population but over one-third (36.5 percent) of the uninsured population.
  • About one-third (32.1 percent) of all people under 65 who were separated were uninsured.

The complete data file is available from the MEPS Web site, which also includes graphics representing some of these statistics. A Statistical Brief of these statistics will be available later this summer through the MEPS Web site only.

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