BALTIMORE, MD (January 20, 2011) – Maryland’s 2009 nonelderly uninsured and privately insured rates were essentially unchanged from those rates in 2004 through 2007, despite the most turbulent economic conditions in 50 years over this time period. In 2008–2009, 14.5% of Maryland’s nonelderly population was uninsured, with an average of about 720,000 nonelderly uninsured residents per year. As in prior periods, Maryland’s 2008–2009 uninsured rate is below the comparable national average, 18.0%, due to a higher rate of employment-based coverage in the State than in the nation as a whole.
The report, entitled “Health Insurance Coverage in Maryland through 2009" contains information on the characteristics of Maryland’s uninsured nonelderly residents, as well as the insurance coverage rates for many subsets of the population, including children, young adults, workers, and racial and ethnic minorities. Age, educational attainment, and family income are closely associated with being uninsured. About 26% of young adults (age 19-29) lack health insurance, and 42% of the individuals in families where the adults had not attained a high school diploma are uninsured. National health reform legislation (Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) targets uninsured young adults by allowing them to remain on family policies up to age 26. Persons in families with low incomes—at or below 200% of the poverty level—are 23% of Maryland’s nonelderly but comprise 48% of the State’s uninsured. Maryland enacted legislation in 2007 that expanded access to Medicaid for adults in this population.
About 40% of Hispanic residents lack coverage, so although they are just 9% of the State’s nonelderly, they account for 24% of the uninsured. Nine of 10 uninsured Marylanders live in family units with one or more working adults, and 63% are working adults. Adults employed by private firms with fewer than 100 workers are 38% of adult workers in the State, but account for 62% of uninsured adult workers.
A copy of the report may be found on the MHCC Web site at http://mhcc.maryland.gov or on request from Ms. Valerie Wooding at 410-764-3570. For questions pertaining to the report please call Ben Steffen at 410-764-3473.
Editor’s Note: Please direct media inquiries to Ben Steffen, director of the Maryland Health Care Commission’s Center for Information Services and Analysis, at 410-764-3473.