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Share of Nonelderly with No Health Insurance Varies Considerably Among States

An average of 17.3 percent (44 million people) of the U.S. population younger than 65 had no health insurance between 2004 and 2006. Most people 65 or older are eligible for Medicare, a health insurance program administered by the U.S. Government. Health insurance varies considerably among States. State differences are largely attributable to variations in the rate of private employer-sponsored insurance and in State and local levels of spending on public programs, such as Medicaid and the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). Decisions on the extent of coverage in public programs, except for Medicare, are primarily a State responsibility. The States with the highest uninsured rates generally have larger low-income populations.

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