Some states harder hit by problem of uninsured

Addressing the problem of the uninsured remains tricky owing to the fact that the number of those who find themselves in such circumstances for long periods of time varies considerably from the national average of 11 percent, according to the 1999 National Survey of America's Families.

In fact, length of time being uninsured seems to be a key factor in determining what states are particularly hard hit by the problem. Reviewing trends in 13 states — which contain more than half of the country's population — the survey's authors say that while “there are virtually no differences in these states' rates for short spell uninsured (less than six months) compared to the national average, their rates for lengthy uninsured spells (12 months or longer) are substantially higher than average.”

Percent of population that is uninsured for at least 12 months (1999)