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Many Uninsured without Coverage for at Least Four Years

By CQ Staff

October 3, 2007—About 17 million uninsured Americans have gone without coverage for at least four years, according to an analysis released Wednesday by the Agency for Health Care Research and Quality.

Almost one-third of that group was middle income, meaning they had household incomes between two and four times the federal poverty level under the definition used in the study. That meant a household income between $38,614 and $77,228, or a family of four in 2004, the "base year" of the data examined in the study.

Americans with incomes below the poverty line—$19,307 for a family of four in 2004&#8212lmade up about 25 percent, or four million people, in the group, termed by AHRQ researchers as "continuously uninsured."

Seventeen percent of Hispanics were continuously uninsured, compared to 7 percent of blacks and 4 percent of whites. According to the most recent U.S. Census figures, 47 million Americans were uninsured in 2006.

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