Census: uninsured rate falls to 8.3% in 2021

September 18, 2022
  • More people were insured in 2021 than 2020. In 2021, 8.3 percent of people, or 27.2 million, did not have health insurance at any point during the year, representing a decrease in the uninsured rate and number of uninsured from 2020 (8.6 percent or 28.3 million).
  • In 2021, private health insurance coverage continued to be more prevalent than public coverage, at 66.0 percent and 35.7 percent, respectively.
  • Of the subtypes of health insurance coverage, employer-based insurance was the most common, covering 54.3 percent of the population for some or all of the calendar year, followed by Medicaid (18.9 percent), Medicare (18.4 percent), direct-purchase coverage (10.2 percent), TRICARE (2.5 percent), and VA and CHAMPVA coverage (1.0 percent).
  • Overall, public coverage increased between 2020 and 2021. In 2021, 35.7 percent of people held public coverage for some or all of the year, marking a 1.2 percentage-point increase from 2020.
  • Between 2020 and 2021, the rate of Medicaid coverage increased by 0.9 percentage points to cover 18.9 percent of people.
  • The uninsured rate among children under the age of 19 decreased 0.6 percentage points to 5.0 percent between 2020 and 2021, driven in part by an increase in public coverage.
  • In 2021, 7.9 percent of full-time, year-round workers had public health insurance, up 1.8 percentage points from 2020. Among less than full-time, year-round workers, the percentage with public coverage increased 1.6 percentage points to 22.6 percent during this period.

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