Fewer Uninsured in 2012, Largely Due to Increased Medicare Enrollment

New data from the U.S. Census Bureau reports statistically significant increases in health insurance coverage in 2012.

The number of people with government health insurance increased in 2012 to 32.6 percent from 32.2 percent in 2011, according to data released Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau. Click to enlarge the graph.
National Journal
Clara Ritger
Sept. 17, 2013, 7:33 a.m.

More people had health in­sur­ance in 2012 than in 2011, ac­cord­ing to Census Bur­eau data re­leased Tues­day.

The num­ber of people without health in­sur­ance de­clined to 15.4 per­cent in 2012 from 15.7 per­cent in 2011 — a stat­ist­ic­ally sig­ni­fic­ant de­crease, ac­cord­ing to a spokes­man at the Census Bur­eau.

The total num­ber of un­in­sured in the U.S. in 2012 was 48 mil­lion.

More people were en­rolled in gov­ern­ment plans in 2012. Medi­care saw a stat­ist­ic­ally sig­ni­fic­ant jump to 15.7 per­cent from 15.2 per­cent en­roll­ment in 2011. Over­all, gov­ern­ment cov­er­age in­creased in 2012 to 32.6 per­cent from 32.2 per­cent in 2011.

Asi­ans and His­pan­ics both saw stat­ist­ic­ally sig­ni­fic­ant de­clines in the num­ber of un­in­sured. In 2012, 15.1 per­cent of the Asi­an pop­u­la­tion did not have health in­sur­ance, com­pared with 16.8 per­cent in 2011. His­pan­ics liv­ing without health in­sur­ance dropped to 29.1 per­cent in 2012 from 30.1 per­cent in 2011.

A small per­cent­age of youth un­der age 18 gained health in­sur­ance in 2012. The num­ber of un­in­sured dropped to 8.9 per­cent from 9.4 per­cent in 2011.

There was no stat­ist­ic­ally sig­ni­fic­ant change in poverty rates or house­hold in­come, however.

Ap­prox­im­ately 15 per­cent of the U.S. pop­u­la­tion lived be­low the poverty line in 2012, mir­ror­ing 2011 data. The total num­ber of Amer­ic­ans liv­ing in poverty in 2012 was ap­prox­im­ately 46.5 mil­lion.

The me­di­an house­hold in­come was ap­prox­im­ately $51,000. That’s roughly the same in 2012 as it was in 2011.