(Salt Lake City, UT) – New Utah Department of Health (UDOH) data show that 376,600 Utahns, or 13.2 percent of the total population, went without health insurance in 2012. The figure is extremely close to the 2011 overall uninsured rate, when an estimated 377,700 people, or 13.4 percent of the population, had no health coverage.
These estimates come from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), a cell and landline telephone survey that measures key public health indicators.
Findings from the new data include:
• 48,200 children ages 0-18 years were uninsured and living below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), making them eligible for Utah’s CHIP or Medicaid programs.
• 9 percent of Utah children ages 0-17 years (80,500) had no health insurance in 2012.
• 185,900 Utahns living at or below 138 percent FPL are uninsured, this is the population targeted for a potential Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act.
• There was a slight drop in the number of uninsured young adults ages 19-26 years: 78,100 (20.9 percent) uninsured in 2012, down from 87,600 (23.6 percent) in 2011.
• The percent of uninsured part-time workers age 19-64 also fell in 2012, to 19.6 percent, from 26.6 percent in 2011. However, the overall number of uninsured individuals the percentage represents remained nearly the same, perhaps because there are more part-time workers overall.
• Among self-employed Utahns, 26.1 percent reported being uninsured in 2012.
“Clearly the problem of the uninsured continues in Utah,” said UDOH Executive Director Dr. David Patton. “There are many organizations and individuals working in our state to address the problem of the uninsured. Hopefully these new data will help them better target their efforts as we all work toward a common goal of reducing the number of Utahns who go without health insurance.”
Patton also encouraged families with uninsured children to look into Utah’s CHIP and Medicaid programs to see if they qualify for coverage.
The source of the 2012 data, the BRFSS, is a household health survey overseen by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and conducted by individual state health departments. Additional data on the estimated number of uninsured Utahns can be found at http://health.utah.gov/opha/publications/2012brfss/Highlights_2012.pdf.
Further data, including estimates on the uninsured broken down by small area, health district, ethnicity, and race, will be available in late October at http://ibis.health.utah.gov.
UDOH Public Information Officer
(o) 801-538-6232(m) 801-560-4649