According to Census Bureau figures, Medicare and Medicaid enrolled a record number of beneficiaries in 2010, 46.9 million and 50.8 million, respectively. The percent of people covered by government health insurance has steadily increased from 24% in 2000 to 32% in 2010.
Zuckerman says the increased Medicaid enrollment indicates the important role this program plays as a backstop for many Americans. "Anyone who looks at this data will see how important Medicaid is for certain segments of the population."
Other Census Bureau findings on the health insurance market in 2011:
- The uninsured rate for children posted a very slight decline to 9.4% from 9.8%.
- The rate of full-time employees who are uninsured increased to 15.3% from 15%.
- The rate of part-time employees who are uninsured declined to 27.7% from 28.5%.
- Hispanics account for 15.7 million or 30.1% of the uninsured. The numbers are statistically unchanged from 2010.
- Blacks account for 7.7 million or 19.5% of the uninsured, which is a slight decline from 2010.
- Asians account for 2.7 million or 16.8% of the uninsured. While the number of uninsured Asians increased slightly, the rate dropped from 18.1% in 2010.
- Non-Hispanic whites account for 21.7 million or 11.1% of the uninsured. The number of uninsured in this category posted a 1.4 million drop from 2010 while the rate declined from 11.7%.
Margaret Dick Tocknell is a reporter/editor with HealthLeaders Media.