How Many People Don’t Have Health Insurance

Health insurance importance has increased in this pandemic but despite that, many people in the US don’t have health insurance. We’ll be sharing statistics and why there is a lack of it.

I think we can all agree how vital is health insurance, especially with how the world’s progressing. Despite that, there are many amongst us who simply don’t have health insurance or can’t afford it.

The lack of health coverage has always been a problem Americans co-existed with. The Affordable care Act (ACA) brought about a tremendous change in the US healthcare system. ACA expanded the opportunity to have health insurance to millions of Americans.

Despite that, there were still a large number of people who didn’t java health insurance. Let’s understand the importance of having health insurance, why do people still lack one and the cons of not having health insurance.

Importance of Health Insurance

Health insurance coverage importance is often realized when you unexpectedly fall sick and require further expensive treatments or have an unfortunate chronic condition which requires you to have long-term care. Having health insurance in these instances, will prevent you from derailing financially.

To explain further health insurance policies, it’s a contract between you and the insurance company, whose policy is made to safeguard you against any form of unexpected or high healthcare costs.

Even though policy-holders pay a monthly premium, deductibles, co-payments and co-insurance, research has shown that the total for all these costs is much lesser as compared to when you pay for your healthcare fully out-of-pocket.

Lack of Health Insurance

The lack of health insurance is a serious problem today. It causes significant effects on an individual’s health and also creates significant financial pressure on healthcare institutions looking after these individuals.

ACA has indeed helped many Americans in being able to get health insurance, but the lack of it still prevails.

Uninsured Americans Healthcare Statistics

In the year 2018, there were almost 18.2 million less uninsured Americans, than when ACA was introduced. Furthermore, there was a drop in the number of people forgoing healthcare due to costs.

According to the United States Census Bureau 8.5 percent of Americans – almost 27.5 million of them – didn’t have health insurance on them in 2018. This was a significant increase in statistics from back in 2017 when 7.9 percent – almost 25.6 million people lacked health insurance.

The number of Americans who lack health insurance increased for three years consecutively in 2019. The American Community Survey (ACS) releases a data stating 9.2 percent of Americans – almost 29.6 million million were insured as of 2019. This is a high rise from 2018.

Even though there has been a fall in employment and a stagnant economic growth before the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, almost 2.3 million more people entered the spandemnis uninsured. If that’s not worrisome, then we don’t know what is.

Why The Lack of Health Insurance

The question here is, what could be the reason behind the growth in people who don’t have health insurance? Is it the unawareness of health insurance, lack of financial means or just ignorance?

Administrative Policies

Administrative policies have perhaps unknowingly got rid of a small but worthy share of the gains in health insurance achieved under the ACA. Health insurance coverage losses incurred during the time when there is an absent policy change, uninsured costs would have expected to decline or remain stagnant, given the huge drop in unemployment and many states implementing to expand Medicaid.

Policies that are likely to be the reason for the lack of health insurance could be:

  • Trump Administration’s relentless stance against immigrants. This includes the change of an individual’s active status in Medicaid. Their participation could easily cast a shadow on them re-entering the United States or hinder their chance to become a permanent resident. This has sowed confusion and fear in families that have immigrant family members.
    In fact, the new Census data showed how the Hispanic community, and children who weren’t birthed in America, have all been targets to the increasing insurance rates. There was a rise from 17.9 percent of uninsured Hispanics in 2018, to a shattering 18.7 percent in 2019 – the highest increase an racial or ethnic group faced.
  • Trump’s Administration’s supporting state policies making it harder for Americans to stay enrolled or enroll in Medicaid. These come in the form of procedural hurdles in receiving and sustaining Medicaid coverage. This has significantly affected children and adults getting declines by Medicaid in 2018 and 2019.
  • Trump and Congress both repealed ACA’s individual mandate – making it mandatory for most Americans to have insurance coverage or pay a hefty penalty, effectively from 2019. This repeal is likely to contribute to the rapid increase in uninsured rates, especially for middle-income based Americans. This has been made evident in 2019 Census data.

Low-Income Individuals

More than 50 percent of Americans are low-income waged. This is one of the biggest reason for them remaining uninsured. Health insurances charge a premium amount monthly, and those who earn by the hour, would definitely find it tough to buy insurance.

Individuals who have an income below the Federal Poverty Level’s (FPL) 200 percent mark, are at the most risk of not being able to have health insurance. Despite the fact that federal policies are now trying to expand income eligibility standards for being able to attain public insurance, very few states follow these policies.


According to statistics, many Americans simply don’t even have a high school diploma. This directly affects their chances of being health insured. Almost one third of uninsured adults don’t possess a high school diploma. This is a staggering amount of people.

Moreover, health insurance provided by employers usually covers those who have a college degree, or a certain level of education. Also, the ability to have a college degree is greatly associated with how employment is in particular sectors and the type of job that is more likely to have health insurance coverage as compared to others.

The pattern to hw an individual’s qualifications affect their chance of having health insurance coverage is influenced by employer characteristics and labor force – if an employer is willing to extend health benefits with a subsidy or reasonably priced premiums.

Furthermore, employees who have a higher level of education may have better options when it comes to employer offered health insurance coverage as compared to when it comes to an employee who has a lower level of education.

Marital Status

Unmarried adults, as compared to married adults rank higher in being uninsured, which means, being unmarried raises the risks if one is uninsured. In reality, marriage usually plays a big protective factor in one having health insurance.

If both the husband and wife are middle-income earners, they raise the chances for then attaining health insurance coverage. That’s because, this way, they are able to come across two possible chances to attain health coverage – from their spouse’s employer or vice versa.

Moreover, the family’s combined income is likely to give the impression of more than one earner’s contribution, which in turn provides a possible economic advantage to those of single parents/people.

But, let’s be real, the probability of tongue adults being married is low, which makes their chance in having health insurance coverage through the spouse extremely low.

How Many Americans Have Health Insurance

According to the Census data, in 2019, for the entire year or part of it, 92 percent people had health insurance coverage. However, private health insurance coverage was much more widespread as compared to public coverage – 68 percent of private health coverage and 34.1 percent of public health coverage.

Between 2018 and 2019, the total percentage of Americans without health insurance coverage only decreased in one stage and increased in the rest of the 19 states. Moreover, all states and the Columbian District had a lower uninsured rate in 2019 than it did in 2010.


The Trump Administration has had a chilling effect on the increased number of people who are uninsured. From Trump’s policies for racial and ethnic minorities, to low-income waged individuals inability to have the access to health insurance coverage, it seems like 2020 might make things far worse due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also, despite the fact that the Census report shows how the poverty rate is at one of its lowest levels as compared to in 2001, this has yet to fully translate into people being able to find employment with health insurance.

With America’s election right around the corner, it’s best for you to look up all the benefits and policies that are implemented right now and are promised to be implemented by both the parties in the future!

Charles Bains

Charles Bains

Charles Bains started his insurance career as a marketing intern before pounding the pavement as a commercial lines agent in Orlando, FL. As an industry journalist, his articles have appeared in a variety of trade publications. His insurance television career, short-lived but glorious, once saw him serve as the expert adviser on an insurance-themed infomercial (yes, you read that correctly). Having recently worked for various organizations, coupled with his broader insurance knowledge, Charles is able to understand our client’s needs and guide them accordingly. He is a gem for Insurance Noon as his wide area of expertise and experience have been beneficial in conducting further researches to come up with solutions and writing them in a manner which is easy for everyone including beginners to comprehend.

Leave a Reply

Insurance Noon is the world's leading source of insurance related content on the web, focusing on industry news, buying guides, reviews, and much more.