Who Are the Remaining Uninsured, and What Do Their Characteristics Tell Us About How to Reach Them?

Analysis explores characteristics of the remaining 33 million uninsured individuals.

The Issue
The report shows nearly 28 percent of the remaining uninsured are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program and about 10 percent have low incomes (at or below 200% of the federal poverty level) and are eligible for financial assistance through the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces.

Key Findings

  • 67 percent of uninsured children are eligible for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program, compared with only 21 percent of uninsured adults;

  • 12 percent, or 3.8 million people have very low incomes but live in states that have chosen not to expand their Medicaid programs, making them ineligible for any financial assistance with their health insurance;

  • White non-Hispanics make up the largest share of the uninsured (46%), but they have the lowest rate of being uninsured (9% are uninsured); 

  • 47 percent of the uninsured live in southern states, and southern state residents have the highest rate of being uninsured (15% are uninsured).

The researchers also describe potential outreach strategies targeted to the characteristics of the remaining uninsured population most amenable to increases in coverage.

About the Urban Institute
The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. Visit the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center for more information specific to its staff and its recent research.