Census Bureau: 118,395,000 on 'Government Health Insurance' in 2015; 28,966,000 Uninsured for Entire Year

By Terence P. Jeffrey | September 13, 2016 | 10:47am EDT
President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in 2010, (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

(CNSNews.com) - There were approximately 118,395,000 people in the United States who had "government health insurance" at some time during 2015 and 28,966,000 who were uninsured for the entire year, according to numbers released today by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The number on government health insurance was up 10,108,000 from 2013, when 108,287,000 people in the United States had government health insurance, according to the Census Bureau.

2013 was the year before the government health-insurance exchanges opened under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (AKA Obamacare). Under Obamacare, individuals are mandated to buy health insurance.

The approximately 28,966,000 people who did not have health insurance at any time during calendar year 2015 was down 12,829,000 from the approximately 41,795,000 people who did not have health insurance at any time in 2013, according to the Census Bureau.

Despite Obamacare and its individual mandate and expansion of Medicaid, 9.1 percent of the population in the United States remained uninsured last year.

“The uninsured rate decreased between 2014 and 2015 by 1.3 percentage points,” the Census Bureau said in its “Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2015” report, which it released today.

“In 2015,” the report said, “the percentage of people without health insurance coverage for the entire calendar year was 9.1 percent or 29.0 million, lower than the rate and the number of uninsured in 2014 (10.4 percent or 33.0 million).

“The percentage of people with health insurance coverage for all or part of 2015 was 90.9 percent, higher than the rate in 2014 (89.6 percent),” said the report.

“In 2015, private health insurance continued to be more prevalent than public coverage, at 67.2 percent and 37.1 percent, respectively,” said the report. “Of the subtypes of health insurance, employer-based insurance covered 55.7 percent of the population for some or all of the calendar year, followed by Medicaid (19.6 percent), Medicare (16.3 percent), direct-purchase (16.3 percent), and military coverage (4.7 percent).”

Table 1 in the report shows the numbers that the Census Bureau estimated for each type of health insurance coverage based on its Current Population Survey. A footnote to the Table states: “The estimates by type of coverage are not mutually exclusive; people can be covered by more than one type of health insurance during the year.” Another footnote says: “Government health insurance coverage includes Medicaid, Medicare, TRICARE, CHAMPVA (Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs), and care provided by the Department o Veterans Affairs and the military.

According to the table, there were 289,903,000 people who had “any health plan” in the United States in 2015; 214,238,000 people who had "any private plan;" and 118,395,000 people who had "any government plan" at some time during the year.

The table says that 62,384,000 had Medicaid at some point during the year; 51,865,000 had Medicare; and 14,849,000 had a military health plan.

The table lists 28,966,000 as “uninsured.” A footnote to this number states: “Individuals are considered to be uninsured if they do not have health insurance coverage for the entire calendar year.

In Table 2 of its report, the Census Bureau said that of 318,868,000 people in the population in 2015, 37.1 percent had "government health insurance."

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