The number of uninsured Americans is on the rise

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The number of U.S. citizens that have health insurance through their jobs continues to decrease, USA Today reports, and thus the number of Americans now uninsured has risen to just under 16 percent.
   
According to the Census Bureau that released these numbers Tuesday, this translates to 46.6 million without health insurance in 2005, up from 45.3 million in 2004. It’s highest the number has been since 1998.
   
Although most American get their insurance through their employer, this method has fallen since 2001. Meanwhile, premiums continue to grow annually – last year averaging 9.2 percent growth. Layoffs, employers no longer offering insurance, and workers opting out of coverage are all cited as reasons for the declines, USA Today reports.
   
Specifically, the census data showed that:

  • The percentage of people who received health insurance through their jobs decreased 59.8 percent in 2004 to 59.5 percent;
  • Hispanics represent the highest group of uninsured at 32.7 percent;
  • Uninsured children are on the rise at 11.2 percent, up from 10.8 percent; and
  • Fewer people are buying their own insurance policies, with the 2005 rate at 9.1 percent, down from 9.3 percent.