Poll: 1 in 3 Kentucky adults without health insurance

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - According to the 2011 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP), about 1 in 3 Kentucky adults between ages 18 and 64 are uninsured. More than half of low-income adults are uninsured, and younger adults under the age of 29 are more likely to be uninsured.

KHIP identifies what residents think about various health issues that affect communities, the state and the nation. The poll included a number of questions about health insurance coverage to provide a picture of the insurance status of Kentucky adults and their family members. This summary focuses on Kentuckians ages 18-64 because 98 percent of state residents older than 65 are insured.

The 2011 poll shows 32 percent of Kentucky adults were uninsured, up from 26 percent in 2010 but consistent with 2009 findings. The percentage of Kentuckians who were uninsured as age, education level and income increased, in general. This is consistent with previous surveys.

Having health insurance is an important factor in being able to get needed health care. The stability of a person's health insurance also comes into play. A measure of this is whether a person has been covered continuously for the past 12 months. About eight percent of Kentuckians who were insured at the time of KHIP had been uninsured at some point in the past 12 months. This means 40 percent had been uninsured at some point in the last 12 months, including currently.

Kentucky adults with lower household incomes reported significantly higher rates of being uninsured. More than half (55 percent) of adults living at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines reported being uninsured, compared with 14 percent living above 200 percent.

Nearly 4 in 10 adults ages 18-29 reported not having health insurance. This is down from 2009 (47 percent), but consistent with previous KHIP results. More adults ages 18-29 (39 percent) report being uninsured than adults ages 46-64 (26 percent).

More working-age adults in Kentucky are also uninsured or on public insurance from Medicare, Medicaid, military insurance or some combination of the three, with fewer being insured by their employer.

Currently, 19 percent of Kentucky adults are covered by some form of public insurance, up from 10 percent in 2008.

In 2008, more than half (55 percent) of Kentucky adults got their health insurance through their employer or their spouse's employer. In 2011, that percentage was down to 43 percent.

More information about Kentuckians' views on health insurance and other topics is available online at http://www.healthfoundation.org/data_publications/khip.html.

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