Survey: Number of Uninsured Americans Increased in 2019

September 10, 2020by Lauren Clason, CQ-Roll Call (TNS)
A doctor checks the lungs of a patient as part of the screening protocol to detect cases of COVID-19. (Leonardo Fernandez Viloria/Getty Images/TNS)

WASHINGTON — Roughly 33.2 million Americans, or 10.3%, lacked health insurance in 2019, according to new data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rate is slightly higher than the 30.4 million, or 9.4%, who were uninsured at the time they were contacted through the department’s National Health Interview Survey in 2018.

Hispanics and Blacks continued to be the racial groups most likely to lack coverage, even as the insured rate improved slightly for Hispanics. The survey found that 29.7% of Hispanic respondents and 14.7% of Black respondents reported having no health insurance in 2019. In 2018, 26.7% of Hispanics and 15.2% of Blacks were uninsured.

A separate CDC report found that 8.3% of respondents skipped needed medical care at least once in the previous 12 months due to cost, up from 4.8% in 2018. The survey found 9.7% of respondents did not take their medications as prescribed because of cost.

The numbers illustrate the disparities that could worsen as the country continues to deal with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of access to health insurance means more people may forego necessary medical care and prescription drugs, which experts worry will worsen complications from chronic conditions.

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©2020 CQ-Roll Call, Inc., All Rights Reserved

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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