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One in Six American Adults Remain Uninsured

One in Six American Adults Remain Uninsured

More Americans covered by Medicare in April, May, and June compared with past months

by Elizabeth Mendes

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Approximately one in six American adults were without health insurance in June, on par with the same month one year ago, but up significantly from June 2008, according to data from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.


The current 2010 average number of uninsured for January-June is 16.3%, similar to the 2009 average, but significantly higher than in 2008.


So far in 2010, the percentage of Americans with health insurance from an employer or union is slightly lower than in 2009, and both years' figures are down significantly from 2008. At the same time, slightly more Americans are relying on government coverage, including Medicare, Medicaid, or military/veterans' benefits.

This small, yet measureable increase in the average percentage of Americans with government health insurance in 2010 compared with previous years is driven primarily by increases in April, May, and June.


The consistent increases in government health insurance found in recent months are mainly the result of more Americans reporting that they have Medicare coverage. The increases also coincide with the April 1 roll out of additional federal funding to states to expand their Medicaid programs. However, a direct connection between the increases and the government program cannot be determined, and Gallup does not find a significant increase in Medicaid coverage during those three months.

As part of the healthcare overhaul passed earlier this year, the government is requiring all states to expand their Medicaid programs to cover most nonelderly Americans with incomes below 133% of the federal poverty level by 2014. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that this change in the government health program for low-income Americans will result in an increase in coverage for an additional 15 million people, including children. Gallup will continue to monitor Americans' insurance coverage and type to measure the law's impact on Americans as additional provisions, including the July implementation of transitional high-risk insurance pools, come to fruition.

Learn more about the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

Survey Methods

Results are based on telephone interviews conducted as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey June 1-June 30, 2010, with a random sample of 30,189 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia selected using random-digit-dial sampling.

For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the maximum margin of sampling error is ±1 percentage point.

Interviews are conducted with respondents on landline telephones and cellular phones, with interviews conducted in Spanish for respondents who are primarily Spanish speaking. Each daily sample includes a minimum quota of 150 cell phone respondents and 850 landline respondents, with additional minimum quotas among landline respondents for gender within region. Landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday.

Samples are weighted by gender, age, race, Hispanic ethnicity, education, region, adults in the household, cell phone-only status, cell phone-mostly status, and phone lines. Demographic weighting targets are based on the March 2009 Current Population Survey figures for the aged 18 and older non-institutionalized population living in U.S. telephone households. All reported margins of sampling error include the computed design effects for weighting and sample design.

In addition to sampling error, question wording and practical difficulties in conducting surveys can introduce error or bias into the findings of public opinion polls.

For more details on Gallup's polling methodology, visit

About the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index measures the daily pulse of U.S. well-being and provides best-in-class solutions for a healthier world. To learn more, please visit

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