TABLE 3–1 U.S. Population Health Insurance Coverage, 1998

Population Group

Number (in thousands)

Percentage

All persons

271,743

 

Not covered

44,281

16.3

Total covered

227,462

83.7

Private

190,861

70.2

Employer-based

168,576

62.0

Government

66,087

24.3

Medicare

35,887

13.2

Medicaid

27,854

10.3

Military

8,747

3.2

All children (under 18 years of age)

72,022

 

Not covered

11,073

15.4

Total covered

60,949

89.6a

Private

48,627

67.5

Employer-based

45,593

63.3

Government

16,400

22.8

Medicare

325

0.5

Medicaid

14,274

19.8

Military

2,240

3.1

Poor children (under 18 years of age)b

13,467

 

Not covered

3,392

25.2

Total covered

10,075

74.8

Private

3,059

22.7

Employer-based

2,586

19.2

Government

7,955

59.1

Medicare

135

1.0

Medicaid

7,784

57.8

Military

223

1.7

aSome individuals have multiple sources of coverage (e.g., Medicare and private insurance, or Medicaid and Medicare). Thus the percentages add to more than 100.

bChildren in families with incomes of less than 100 percent of the federal poverty line.

SOURCE: Bureau of the Census, 1999.

Employers that self-insure are generally exempt from state insurance regulation under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).3 Approximately 50 million privately insured individuals are covered by self-insured plans, and this limits the reach of state insurance laws or regulations governing the coverage of pediatric vaccines (Copeland and Pierron, 1998; Polzer, 2000).

Other federal legislation, however, prohibits employers (regardless of whether they purchase insurance or self-insure) from reducing “cover-



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