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June 21, 2024

U.S. uninsured number dropped by one quarter over past 5 years, HHS reports

The number of Americans without health insurance dropped by about a fourth from 2019 to 2023, U.S. health researchers said, as the government tried to bolster coverage during and after the Covid-19 pandemic (Source: “Uninsured Americans Dropped by One-Quarter Over Five Years,” BNN Bloomberg, June 18).   
In 2023, 25 million Americans of all ages were uninsured, down from 33.2 million in 2019, according to preliminary survey results released Tuesday by the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics. Children without health insurance also declined from 5.1% in 2019 to 3.9% last year. 

Health officials trying to limit the ravages of the pandemic scrambled to maintain health coverage, in part by putting off reviews of Medicaid eligibility that would have purged some beneficiaries from rolls of the program for low-income Americans. While that benefit persisted through 2023, states are now beginning to review their rolls again, with the possibility that health coverage will decrease.
According to the survey, 23% of U.S. adults aged 18 to 64 with health coverage were part of a public program, such as Medicaid, up by 3% since 2019. More than 64% of people under the age of 65 were covered by private insurance last year, according to the NCHS survey, while about 29% were covered by public insurance, including military programs, state employee plans, Medicaid and Medicare, the U.S. program for the elderly and disabled people. 

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