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Health Insurance Coverage: 1996

Written by:
Report Number P60-199

Who Goes Without Health Insurance?

An estimated 41.7 million people in the United States (15.6 percent) were without health insurance coverage during the entire 1996 calendar year. This number was up 1.1 million from the previous year, but the proportion was statistically unchanged.

Employment is the leading source of health insurance coverage.

Most people (70.2 percent) were covered by a private insurance plan for some or all of 1996. A private plan is one that was offered through employment (either one’s own or a relative’s) or privately purchased. Almost all private insurance was obtained through a current or former employer or union (that is, was employment-based). (See Figure 1.)

The remaining insured people (25.9 percent) had government coverage—medicare (13.2 percent of the population), medicaid (11.8 percent), and military health care (3.3 percent). Many people carry coverage from more than one plan.

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