Uninsured rate rises for first time since 2009

Uninsured rate rises for first time since 2009

News Staff

The share of uninsured Americans rose for the first time in nearly a decade, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.

The rate increased to 8.5% in 2018, up half a percentage point a year earlier. Some 27.5 million people were uninsured last year, a jump of 1.9 million people.

Driving the increase, the first since 2009, was a decline in the share of people covered by Medicaid. The percentage of those with private coverage — either through their employers or directly purchased on the individual market — did not statistically change, while the share of those on Medicare increased as the population aged.

Also, more children were uninsured last year, mainly because the share of lower-income kids covered by Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) declined.

About 4.3 million kids — or 5.5% — were uninsured in 2018. That’s up 425,000 from a year earlier.