The number of Americans under age 65 with private health insurance dropped from 73.1% to 68.6% between 1999 and 2004, while those with public coverage such as Medicaid increased from 12.4% to 16% during the same period, according to a national health interview survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Health Statistics. The survey covers the first three quarters of last year and claims that 14.6% of the overall population was uninsured in 2004, down slightly from 15.2% in 2003. Other findings of the survey show that healthcare costs prevented 5.4% of the population from obtaining needed medical care at some point during the previous one-year period. That's slightly higher than in 2003 (5.3%). The survey indicates that 29% of children under 18 now are covered by public insurance such as Medicaid and the State Children's Health Insurance Program. About 9% of children under 18 were uninsured at the time of the interview, continuing a steady decline since 1997. View the survey. -- by Ralph Loos
Number of uninsured Americans dips slightly in 2004
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