Characteristics of the Uninsured

This report reviews state-level data about adults who work but do not have health insurance coverage. More than 20 million working adults do not have health care coverage, according to an analysis of 2003 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In eight states, at least one in five working adults is uninsured. In 39 other states, at least one working adult in every 10 does not have health care coverage. Additional findings include:

  • The problem is pervasive among workers in every state. States with the highest rates of uninsured residents among employed adults include Texas (27 percent), New Mexico, (23 percent), Florida (22 percent), Montana (21 percent), Oklahoma (21 percent), Nevada (20 percent) and Arkansas (20 percent). States with the lowest uninsured rates among employed adults include Minnesota (7 percent), Hawaii (9 percent), Delaware (9 percent) and the District of Columbia (9 percent).
  • Uninsured adults are unable to see a doctor when needed. Nationally, 41 percent of uninsured adults report being unable to see a doctor when needed in the past 12 months, due to cost, compared to just nine percent of adults who have health care coverage.
  • Uninsured adults are less likely to have a personal doctor or health care provider. Nationally, 56 percent of adults without health care coverage say they do not have a personal doctor or health care provider, compared with just 16 percent of people with health care coverage.
  • Adults who are uninsured are much more likely to report being in poor or fair health than are adults who are insured. Nationally, one in five uninsured adults (20 percent) say their health is fair or poor, compared with nearly one in nine adults with health coverage (12 percent).

This report analyzed data from the 2003 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey.