Today, the Census Bureau released new data about the number of Americans with health insurance. The Current Population Survey (CPS) offers a revealing look at Americans’ health coverage in 2013. The data does not yet reflect the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but provides a baseline to understand who had coverage and from where prior to full ACA implementation, setting us up for some interesting analysis next year.

In brief, too many women remained uninsured in 2013. Overall, 14 percent of women and girls lack health insurance coverage. For adult women 18 to 64 the proportion is even higher; 17 percent of women went without health insurance in 2013.

For adult women who hold insurance:

  • The majority (59 percent) purchase insurance through an employer;
  • Nine percent of women directly purchase health insurance on their own;
  • And, many more women than men are covered through Medicaid (14 percent compared to 10 percent for men), which demonstrates how important Medicaid continues to be for women.

Coverage status also varies by women’s age:

  • Younger women have higher rates of uninsurance than women of all ages; twenty percent of women 19 to 25 were uninsured in 2013.
  • However, among women ages 55 to 64, the rate of uninsurance is 14 percent.
  • And, women over 65 – most of whom have access to Medicare – enjoy the greatest security, with only 1.4 percent going without health coverage.

Looking ahead to next year, when the CPS data will reflect the full implementation of the ACA, many more women will have health insurance. Already, the initial estimates show that many Americans have gained insurance through ACA provisions that expand Medicaid coverage and provide access to new private insurance options on the Health Insurance Marketplaces.

Later this week, we will be able to do some year-to-year comparisons when the Census Bureau releases data from the American Community Survey (ACS). 

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