Good and Bad News About Health Insurance

The number of people without health insurance decreased last year. But the news wasn’t all good.

The number of people without health insurance decreased by almost 3 percent last year, according to the latest federal data.

One of two reports recently released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows the share of population still uninsured decreased from 13.3 percent in 2013 to 10.4 percent last year. That means the number of uninsured people fell from 41.8 million to 33 million.

The most common types of insurance were:

  • Employment-based: 55.4 percent
  • Medicaid (a federal health care program for low-income people): 19.5 percent
  • Medicare (a federal health care program for older people): 16.0 percent
  • Direct purchase: 14.6 percent
  • Military: 4.5 percent

In less happy news, employers are also preparing for their health care benefits costs to increase again next year, the publication CFO reports.

While the growth rate for employers’ health care benefit costs is slowing, it is “still well above the Consumer Price Index,” CFO reports.

Other statistics from the Census Bureau’s reports include:

  • The national poverty rate last year was 14.8 percent — or 46.7 million people — which is not considered a statistically significant difference compared with 2013. In fact, the Census Bureau states in a news release, “This marks the fourth consecutive year in which the number of people in poverty was not statistically different from the previous year’s estimate.”
  • The national median household income last year — $53,657 — was also flat compared with 2013. Last year was the third consecutive year in which this figure did not change significantly from the prior year. Prior to that, income declined for two consecutive years.
  • The national median income figures for family households ($68,426) and nonfamily households ($32,047) were also flat last year compared with the prior year.
  • The number of people working full time, year-round increased by 2.8 million from 2013 to 2014. “This suggests a shift of workers moving from part-year, part-time work status to full-time, year-round work status,” the Census Bureau states.

What’s your take on the latest developments about health insurance and the rising cost for employers? Let us know in our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth, and post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

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