64.2 Percent of Nonelderly Americans HaveEmployment-Based Health Insurance, 18.3 Percent Are Uninsured

November 1998, Vol. 19, No. 11
Paperback, 16 pp.
PDF, 80 kb
Employee Benefit Research Institute, 1998

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Executive Summary

64.2 Percent of Nonelderly Americans Have
Employment-Based Health Insurance, 18.3 Percent Are Uninsured
—Over 151 million Americans under age 65—64.2 percent of the nonelderly population—were covered by employment-based
health insurance during 1997, according to Employee Benefit
Research Institute (EBRI) estimates of the March 1998 Current
Population Survey.  Over 43 million—18.3 percent of
nonelderly Americans—did not have private or public health
insurance during any part of 1997, up from 41.4 million, or 17.7
percent, in 1996. The percentage of nonelderly Americans without
any source of health insurance coverage has been rising since
1987. Most Americans with private health insurance in 1997
received it through an employment-based health plan. However,
34.9 million Americans received health insurance from publicly
financed sources. Twenty-six million Americans participated in
the Medicaid program, and 6.6 million received their health
insurance through the CHAMPUS/CHAMPVA  program and other
government programs designed to provide coverage for retired
military members and their families.



EBRI analysis of the total (nonelderly and elderly) population
shows that 224.9 million Americans had health insurance (83.8
percent of the entire population), while 43.4 million (16.2
percent of the entire population) were uninsured in 1997. In
general, EBRI’s analysis of the population’s insurance
status does not include Americans over age 65, the vast majority
of whom (96.2 percent) have coverage under Medicare, the federal
insurance program for the elderly.