Sources of Health Insurance and Characteristics of the Uninsured: Analysis of the March 1994 Current Population Survey

February 1995
EBRI Issue Brief #158 | Special Report SR-28
Paperback, 34 pp.
PDF, 431 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 1995

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Executive Summary

  • This Issue Brief provides summary data on the insured and uninsured populations in the nation and in each state and is based on EBRI analysis of the March 1994 supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS). It discusses the way health protection has changed for the insured, how the states rank in health insurance protection, and the characteristics most closely related to whether or not an individual is likely to have health insurance protection. The March 1994 CPS represents 1993 data—the most recent data available.
  • Forty-three percent of nonelderly respondents indicating they were noncitizens were uninsured in 1993, compared with 16.4 percent of citizens. Among all nonelderly uninsured, 15.1 percent were noncitizens. In six states a higher proportion of the total uninsured were noncitizens than in the nation as a whole. These states include California (37.8 percent), New York (26.6 percent), Florida (21.7 percent), New Jersey (20.8 percent), Illinois (19.9 percent), and Texas (17.8 percent). The CPS contained data regarding citizenship for the first time in its March 1994 survey and does not allow for the determination of the legal status of noncitizens.
  • Eighty-two percent of nonelderly Americans and 99 percent of elderly Americans (aged 65 and over)—or 215.7 million individuals—were covered by either public or private health insurance in 1993.
  • In 1993, 18.1 percent of the nonelderly population—or 40.9 million people—were not covered by health insurance, up from 17.8 percent and 39.8 million in 1992. However, the margin of error in 1993 at the 95 percent confidence level is 0.4 percent and 765 thousand. Thus, the percentage of uninsured in 1993 ranged from 17.7 percent to 18.5 percent, and the number of uninsured ranged from 40.1 million to 41.7 million.
  • Children accounted for the largest proportion of the increase in the number of uninsured between 1992 and 1993. Sixteen percent of all children—or 11.1 million children—were not covered by private health insurance and were either ineligible or did not receive publicly financed medical assistance in 1993, up from 15.1 percent and 10.2 million in 1992.