Economic snapshot | Wages Incomes and Wealth

More workers without health insurance

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Snapshot for October 9, 2002.

More workers without health insurance
From 2000 to 2001, 1.4 million more Americans became uninsured, raising the total number without health insurance to 41.2 million. The overall decline in coverage was led by a decrease in employment-based health insurance. The figure below shows that the proportion of workers with health insurance coverage for the entire year dropped between 2000 and 2001 among both part-time and full-time workers. For full-time workers, the decline was a drop from 84.3% to 84.0%. The sharpest decline in coverage was among poor part-time workers, who saw their coverage fall from 59.9% to 54.0%. Increasingly, poor workers are less likely to have insurance than poor nonworkers: in 2001, 51.3% of poor workers had health insurance, compared to 63.2% of poor nonworkers.

Percent of individuals with health insurance

Fewer workers received health insurance from their employers in 2001 than in 2000. Employment-based coverage fell by a full percentage point, from 63.6% of Americans receiving health insurance from their employer in 2000 to 62.6% in 2001. Much of the decline was for those in firms with fewer than 25 workers. Government-supplied health insurance slightly offset the fall in employer-provided health insurance, with an increase in coverage from 24.7% of Americans to 25.3%. Much of the increase in government insurance was through the Medicaid program, which rose by 0.6 percentage points to cover 11.2% of Americans in 2001.

This week’s Snapshot by EPI economist Heather Boushey with research assistance by Brendan Hill.

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