San Diegans for Healthcare Coverage, A Coalition for Health

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The Uninsured and Underinsured

Who Are the Uninsured

In 2010, the latest data available[1], San Diego County had a population of 3.2 million.  Of these, 527,303 San Diego residents were uninsured:

  • Almost one in four adults ages 18-64 were uninsured
  • Almost one in five children under age 19 were uninsured
  • 26.2 % earned less than $25,000/year
  • 26.3% earned $25,000 - $49,000/year
  • 19.2% earned $50,000 - $74,000/year
  • 13.4% earned $74,000 - $99,000/year
  • 7.8% earned over $100,000/year
  • 30% were Hispanic/Latino
  • 15.9% were African-American
  • 11.2% were Asian
  • 10.9% were white


The Underinsured

Being underinsured means having health insurance, but also high out-of-pocket medical expenses relative to income. In a study by The Commonwealth Fund, the underinsured were defined as those who report at least one of following: family out-of-pocket medical care expenses (not including premiums) that are 10 percent or more of income; among low-income adults (i.e., incomes below 200 percent of the federal poverty level), medical expenses that are 5 percent or more of income; or per-person deductibles that are 5 percent or more of income.

The number of underinsured adults rose by 80 percent between 2003 and 2010, from 16 million to 29 million[1]. The consequences of being underinsured mimic those of the uninsured as increasing out-of-pocket costs result in fewer medical visits, delays in care, and improper use of medications (i.e., cutting pills in half, skipping prescribed doses or not filling prescriptions).