Maryland's Health Insurance Coverage Rates Stable Through 2007

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture
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Maryland's most recent nonelderly uninsured and employment-based coverage rates are not significantly different from those rates in 2004–2005. In 2006–2007, about 760,000 nonelderly state residents lacked health insurance, amounting to 15.4 percent of Maryland's nonelderly population. However, the latest uninsured rate is significantly higher than the state's rate in 2002-2003, 14.4 percent. As in prior periods, Maryland's 2006–2007 uninsured rate is below the comparable national average, 17.5 percent, due to a higher rate of employment-based coverage in the state than in the nation as a whole.

The report, entitled "Health Insurance Coverage in Maryland through 2007" contains information on the characteristics of Maryland's uninsured nonelderly residents, as well as the coverage rates for many subsets of the population, including children, young adults, workers, and racial and ethnic minorities. As in the larger population, the coverage rates for most subgroups did not change from 2004–2005 to 2006–2007. The uninsured rates among children, 10 percent, and nonelderly adults, 17 percent, were stable, reflecting no significant changes in their private or public coverage rates. The demographic composition of the state's nonelderly uninsured shifted slightly with respect to income (relatively fewer poor residents), race/ethnicity (relatively more Hispanics), and employment (relatively fewer from families lacking an employed adult).

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Age, educational attainment, and family income are closely associated with being uninsured. About 30 percent of young adults (age 19-29) lack insurance. Nearly half of all individuals in families where the adults had not attained a high school diploma are uninsured. About 22 percent of

children and 43 percent of adults in low-income families are uninsured. Persons in families with low incomes—at or below 200 percent of the poverty level—are 19 percent of Maryland's nonelderly but comprise 44 percent of the state's uninsured.

About half of Maryland's Hispanic residents lack coverage, so although they are just eight percent of the state's nonelderly, they comprise 24 percent of the uninsured, up from 19 percent in 2004–2005 when they were also eight percent of the nonelderly. Nine of 10 uninsured persons in Maryland live in family units with at least one working adult, and 60 percent are working adults. Adults working in private firms with fewer than 100 workers are 37 percent of adult workers, but account for 62 percent of uninsured adult workers.

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