Number of Uninsured in United States Grows to 49.9 Million; Young Adults Already Benefitting from the Affordable Care Act

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<p>New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau today show that the number of people without health insurance climbed to 49.9 million in 2010, up from 49 million in 2009. More than 13 million more people were without health insurance in 2010 than in 2000. </p>
<p>In a <a href="/blog/2011/number-uninsured-united-states-grows-499-million-young-adults-already-benefitting">blog post,</a> The Commonwealth Fund's Sara R. Collins, Tracy Garber, and Karen Davis point out that the Census report also shows a reversal in the decade-long increase in the number of young adults without health insurance. About 500,000 more young adults had insurance coverage in 2010, compared with 2009. This change is likely attributable to the Affordable Care Act—young adults under age 26 may now stay on or join their parent's health plan. </p>
<p>While the number of people with job-based insurance coverage declined by 1.5 million people, this was offset by increases in public coverage. For example, the percentage of children covered by Medicaid or the Children's Health Insurance Program increased to 34.8 percent in 2010, up from 33.8 percent in 2009. </p>
<p>"The new Census data reveal that the early provisions of the Affordable Care Act are already having an effect on health insurance coverage," the authors say. "But the erosion in employer coverage resulting from job losses and fewer companies offering health insurance underscore the need for the full implementation of the law in 2014." <br /></p>