Wednesday, May 18, 2011

UDOH Releases New Data on the Uninsured

SALT LAKE CITY - New data released by the Utah Department of Health (UDOH) show little change in the number of Utahns who went without health insurance in 2010.  During a monthly meeting of the State Legislature's Health System Reform Task Force, the UDOH reported 301,700 Utahns, or 10.6 percent of the total population, lacked health insurance coverage last year.  The data represent a slight improvement from 2009 when 314,300, or 11.2 percent of the population, had no coverage.  The change from 2009 to 2010 was not statistically significant.

"Despite the fact that nearly 13,000 fewer Utahns were uninsured last year, it's tough to take any comfort in these data," said UDOH Executive Director Dr. David Patton.  "The state's uninsured rate has held relatively steady over the past several years, which is an indication that we must continue to pursue policies and strategies - such as the Utah Health Insurance Exchange - that will provide our citizens with access to high-quality, affordable health care coverage."

Other highlights of the 2010 data include:
  • The uninsured rate of children who are eligible for the Children's Health Insurance Program (ages 0-18 with parents' income up to 200 percent of the federal poverty level) remained relatively steady at 12.3 percent compared to 16.3 percent in 2008 when the program was permanently opened to new enrollees
  • 28.6 percent of adults ages 19-26 were uninsured, the highest rate of any age group
  • Among adults who are eligible for coverage under the Primary Care Network (ages 19-64 with an income up to 150 percent of the federal poverty level) 39.9 percent did not have health insurance coverage
  • Self-employed adults ages 19-64 had an uninsured rate of 23.9 percent
  • Among adults ages 19-64 who are employed part-time, the uninsured rate was 18.8 percent
The UDOH provides an annual estimate of the state's uninsured population through the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS).  The BRFSS is a state-based, random-digit-dialed household telephone survey conducted by the UDOH in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  BRFSS collects data on a variety of health-risk behaviors, health status, and use of preventive health services.  Health insurance coverage and health care access questions from the Utah Healthcare Access Survey (UHAS) were added to the BRFSS in 2009 so that trends in insurance coverage can be tracked from year to year.  The BRFSS is representative of the Utah population living in households with landline telephones. 

Media Contact:
Tom Hudachko
Public Information Officer
(o) 801-538-6232
(m) 801-560-4649

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