The Census Bureau next month will release its annual report on the number of people in the United States without health insurance, with attention focused on whether the improvement in the economy in 2010 made a dent in reducing the uninsured population.
The report will be released Sept. 13.
In 2009, the number of uninsured hit a record 50.7 million, up from 46.3 million in 2008, while the percentage of Americans without coverage climbed to 16.7 percent from 15.4 percent.
The percentage of people covered through employer-sponsored plans fell to 55.8 percent —also a record low—in 2009, down from 58.5 percent in 2008.
The decline in employment-based coverage came amid the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The unemployment rate topped 10 percent in 2009, with millions of employees losing their health insurance coverage.
The sweeping health care reform measure Congress passed last year is intended to sharply reduce the number of uninsured. But the most significant provision in the reform law to expand coverage—one that will provide federal premium subsidies to the lower-income uninsured—does not start until 2014.