The Small Area Health Insurance Estimates of health care coverage look at the nation’s 3,140 counties and is considered the only source for single-year estimates of health insurance. Though, local health officials have long identified these groups and areas as in need of expanded coverage.
Baltimore City (16.5) and Prince George’s County (16.3), with larger numbers of minorities and low-income residents, also had high rates of uninsured. In general, about 8.7 percent of whites, 14.5 percent of blacks and 33.9 percent of Hispanics were uninsured.
Collection of the data was partially funded by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which uses the information to identify women who need free cancer screenings.
The Census Bureau notes that the federal health care reform law will extend coverage through Medicaid to more low income people, and this study will show the impact in future years.
State-level information was collected for 2010, and there were slightly fewer uninsured in Maryland (12.7), ranking it 13th among the state for coverage.
Massachusetts (5.2), Hawaii (8.9) and Washington, D.C. (9) had the lowest rates of uninsured. Texas (26.3), Florida (25.3) and Nevada (25.1) had the highest rates.