Thursday, October 20, 2011

Census Bureau releases 2008 and 2009 County-level Health Insurance Coverage Estimates

(Click to enlarge)
There's lots of information from the Census Bureau this week. They has just released 2008 and 2009 estimates of health insurance coverage for U.S. counties. You may, or may not, remember that the first estimates of county-level health insurance coverage were released in July. Currently, these figures are the only source of health coverage estimates. If you are interested, estimates are provided by gender, age groups (under 66 years of age), race/ethnicity, and income-to-poverty ratios.

While the figures are estimates, they are modeled using data from a variety of sources including the American Community Survey, Census Bureau population estimates, administrative records (aggregated federal tax returns, Medicaid participation records, etc.), and 2000 Census statistics.

How does Utah stack up? The share of Utahns under the age of 65 without insurance appears to have increased very, very slightly from the 2007 figure (15.7 percent) to 15.9 percent. However, keep in mind that this slight increase is well within the margin of error for these estimates. Nationally, data from the Current Population Survey indicates that roughly 18 percent of those under 65 were without insurance in 2009.

In 2009, Davis County showed the lowest share of of uninsured individuals (11.4 percent); San Juan the highest (23.3 percent). Rural counties were more likely to show high levels of uninsured populations than were urban areas--although a few rural counties showed low uninsured shares. The estimates suggest that in roughly one-third of Utah's counties one-fifth of the population under the age of 65 is without health insurance.

To access the full set of health insurance estimates by county, click here.