Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Mar 19, 2020

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How many Americans have health insurance

The real total figure for insured Americans is hard to pin down. You’ll find the estimates range from 8 million to 60 million!

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Sadly, most studies indicate that the number is declining. At the very least, the number of Americans without health insurance is definitely rising, and has been steadily doing so for the past ten years or so.

Where do the figures for insured Americans come from?

The numbers are really all over the place. The Obama administration has the total number somewhere between 40 and 60 million (46 is usually the magic number).

Others argue against this, saying that the number includes those who live in the country illegally, those who simply choose not to purchase health insurance but can actually afford some type of insurance, and those who qualify for free health care but just haven’t signed up.

Some of those groups have the actual number of insured down to maybe 8 million, maybe 2% of the total population.

Others are concerned with the fact that we have many Americans who are not consistently insured. Between 2006 and 2007, 86.7 million people were uninsured at one point or another. And then the Census Bureau’s survey, which is the largest survey, found that the uninsured number is at 15%.

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Why is it so hard to pin down the number of insured citizens?

Health care is a very political business, with one side believing the government should step in and help where it can, and the other believing insurance is simply something that an individual chooses to get or not.

When we look at figures that seek to give estimates of the number of Americans with or without insurance, we need to look very closely at where those numbers come from. If they are not independent, unbiased organizations then they may be either liberal or conservative think tanks. It is usually fairly easy to determine which. Look to see what they have written on, endorsed, or campaigned for or against in the past. The most important thing to do, however, is to check the sources, check from where and when the information comes from.

For example, a recent number from the Pacific Research Institute, which is a conservative think tank, used the 8 million figure for the reasons listed above. However, when their sources were analyzed, it was discovered that the numbers came from a 2003 Blue Cross/Blue Shield study—which had the number at 14 million.

The think tank dismissed nearly 6 million people because they were “short-term uninsured”. This meant they were individuals who could probably obtain coverage at some point, either by getting a job, going through the proper waiting-period at a new job, or if small business were to get tax credits for providing low-wage workers coverage.

The problems with this kind of study are obvious. For one, 2003 was a quite a while ago, and well before the worst recession in recent history. It also doesn’t seem to make sense to dismiss certain uninsured individuals because they could very likely get insurance if tax laws were changed or if they got the proper job. They don’t have it now.

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So now what to do with these numbers?

By 2014, everyone is going to have some kind of insurance due to the 2010 Health Reform Bill.
Right now, regardless of the final number, there is a large and marked difference between the number of those who are insured and the number of those who are not. But we do not necessarily have to wait until then.

It is not impossible to obtain health insurance, and studies have shown that those with insurance are healthier than those without. Having more people covered means not just having better prices for health care, but also having a healthier country overall. Regardless of where one falls on the political spectrum, I think most can agree that health is always a good thing.

It can be easy for you to find good, affordable health insurance. Private health insurance can provide many flexible plans and rates for individuals who are looking for an alternative to group health insurance. Use the online insurance quotes tool found on this site to get several rate quotes quickly. Then compare and contrast, and call those that seem to be the best for you.

The bottom line is that, while many people have great health insurance (and many others have health insurance that may not be so great) we all deserve good, affordable health care. Don’t think that this is out of your reach!

Input your zip code into the free health insurance rates tool and get numbers instantly!