Rise in employer-based coverage spurs drop in ranks of uninsured























The Census Bureau reports that the number of Americans without health insurance dropped from 44 million in 1998 to 42 million in 1999, thanks in large part to a boost in the share of employers offering job-based coverage. Sixty-three percent of Americans received health benefits last year, up from 60 percent in 1998.

A University of California–Los Angeles/Kaiser Family Foundation study of 1998 Census Bureau data reveals vast differences in the prevalence of employer-based coverage among ethnic groups. Nearly 4 in 10 Hispanics are uninsured, largely because of the absence of employer benefits. Almost one fourth of blacks are uninsured — a matter of concern to health demographers, who point out that blacks' heightened risk for such chronic conditions as diabetes and hypertension makes their need for regular care all the more important.

Nature of health coverage, by ethnicity

SOURCE: RACIAL AND ETHNIC DISPARITIES IN ACCESS TO HEALTH INSURANCE AND HEALTH CARE, UCLA CENTER FOR HEALTH POLICY RESEARCH AND THE KAISER FAMILY FOUNDATION, 2000

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