Survey: Number of uninsured Americans increased in 2019

About 33 million, or 10.3 percent, lacked health insurance last year, an uptick from 9.4 percent in 2018

The uptick in the number of uninsured Americans illustrates the disparities that could worsen as the country continues to deal with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)
The uptick in the number of uninsured Americans illustrates the disparities that could worsen as the country continues to deal with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. (Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images)
Posted September 9, 2020 at 12:34pm

Roughly 33.2 million Americans, or 10.3 percent of the population, lacked health insurance in 2019, according to new data released Wednesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The rate is slightly higher than the 30.4 million, or 9.4 percent, who were uninsured at the time they were contacted through the department’s National Health Interview Survey in 2018.

Hispanics and Blacks continued to be the racial groups most likely to lack coverage, even as the insured rate improved slightly for Hispanics. The survey found that 29.7 percent of Hispanic respondents and 14.7 percent of Black respondents reported having no health insurance in 2019. In 2018, 26.7 percent of Hispanics and 15.2 percent of Blacks were uninsured.

A separate CDC report found that 8.3 percent of respondents skipped needed medical care at least once in the previous 12 months because of cost, up from 4.8 percent in 2018. The survey found that 9.7 percent of respondents did not take their medications as prescribed because of cost.

The numbers illustrate the disparities that could worsen as the country continues to deal with fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. Lack of access to health insurance means more people may forgo necessary medical care and prescription drugs, which experts worry will worsen complications from chronic conditions.