Healthcare revenue cycle professionals received somewhat good news this month as the number of uninsured Americans fell after four years of steady increases.
The US Census Bureau released its 2011 “Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States” report this month which found that the total number and percentage of Americans with health insurance increased.
Though Americans covered by employer-paid insurance declined, there was an uptick among young adults ages 19-25, which could be construed as a direct result of mandated expansion of health insurance required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, those young adults can now be covered under their parents plan.
And though the number of employer-paid insurance enrollees declined, the number of Americans who qualified for Medicaid and Medicare increased. When aggregated, these figures are good news for revenue cycle professionals, who despite the lagging economy now have a better opportunity to collect at least a portion of medical bills from more patients.
Below is the report summary as prepared by the census bureau. The entire report can be found here.
- In 2011, the percentage of people without health insurance decreased to 15.7 percent from 16.3 percent in 2010. The number of uninsured people decreased to 48.6 million, down from 50.0 million in 2010.
- Both the percentage and number of people with health insurance increased in 2011, to 84.3 percent and 260.2 million, up from 83.7 percent and 256.6 million in 2010.
- The percentage of people covered by private health insurance in 2011 was not statistically different from 2010, at 63.9 percent. This is the first time in the last 10 years that the rate of private insurance coverage has not decreased. The number of people covered by private health insurance in 2011 was not statistically different from 2010, at 197.3 million.
- The percentage and number of people covered by government health insurance increased to 32.2 percent and 99.5 million in 2011 from 31.2 percent and 95.5 million in 2010.
- The percentage and number of people covered by employment-based health insurance in 2011 was not statistically different from 2010, at 55.1 percent and 170.1 million.
- The percentage and number of people covered by Medicaid in 2011 increased to 16.5 percent and 50.8 million, up from 15.8 percent and 48.5 million in 2010. The percentage and number of people covered by Medicare increased in 2011 to 15.2 percent and 46.9 million, from 14.6 percent and 44.9 million in 2010.
- In 2011, 9.4 percent of children under age 18 (7.0 million) were without health insurance, not statistically different from the 2010 estimate. The uninsured rate for children in poverty, 13.8 percent, was higher than the uninsured rate for all children, 9.4 percent.
- The rate and number of uninsured for non-Hispanic Whites decreased in 2011 to 11.1 percent and 21.7 million, from 11.6 percent and 22.5 million in 2010. The uninsured rate and the number of uninsured for Blacks also decreased in 2011 to 19.5 percent and 7.7 million, from 20.8 percent and 8.2 million in 2010.
- The percentage and number of uninsured Hispanics in 2011 were not statistically different from 2010, at 30.1 percent and 15.8 million.