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Gallup: Most Americans Were Uninsured in 2011

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A recently released Gallup survey shows more American adults didn’t have health insurance coverage in 2011 than in any other year since Gallup and Healthways began to track this information in 2008.

Researchers asked 1,000 American adults about their health care coverage on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. The overall findings were troubling.

The monthly percentage of uninsured adults rose to 17.7 percent in December 2011, which equaled the month of July for the highest on record. The uninsured rate was 17 percent or higher for the majority of the 2011 calendar year.

Researchers at Gallup first noticed monthly increases of uninsured Americans when they initially conducted their study in 2008. They also found percentages rising above 16 percent for the first time in February 2009 and above 17 percent for the first time in December 2010.

Results of the 2011 survey also showed that younger American adults are better insured than previous years, due to a 2010 healthcare law provision that allows child dependents to stay on their parents plan until age 26.

Since 18 to 25 year old’s can stay on their parents health plan longer, the percentages of uninsured young adults lowered in 2011 to 24.5 percent from 27.6 percent in 2010, and 28.2 percent in 2009.

Researchers also reveal that Hispanic Americans continue to be the most likely to be uninsured, with over 40 percent lacking medical coverage in 2011. Additionally, more than 30 percent of low-income Americans were uninsured in 2011, and up from 26.4 percent in 2008.

Results from Gallup are based on various telephone interviews, with a random sample of 353,492 adult participants, aged 18 years or older, living within the 50 states, as well as Washington D.C.

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