Health >> Health Insurance >> Poverty, Education, Employment (2014)

Adults least likely to have health insurance in King County are the poor, the unemployed, and those with the least education.

Without health insurance, most Americans could not afford adequate health care – including life- and cost-saving preventive care. Those lacking coverage often forego necessary care until a medical crisis forces them to seek expensive and potentially risky emergency treatment.

As part of a survey conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau, King County adults were asked about their health insurance coverage.  In 2012, 16.4% of adults age 18-64 had no health insurance coverage. 

More than 1 in 3 non-elderly adults living below 200% of the federal poverty threshold had no health insurance. 

  • Fewer than 1 in 20 adults in households with income at or above 400% of the federal poverty guidelines ($94,200 for a family of 4 in 2014) lacked health coverage.
  • In January 2014, Medicaid eligibility expanded to include non-elderly adults with household income at or below 138% of the federal poverty guidelines.
  • At the same time, non-elderly adults with household income between 139% and 400% of the federal poverty guidelines became eligible for subsidized health insurance through Washington Healthplanfinder.

Education boosted adults’ chances of having health insurance. 

  • Adults with a college degree were almost 7 times more likely to have coverage than those who didn’t finish high school.
  • Perhaps more surprisingly, adults with a college degree were close to 3 times more likely to have coverage than those who attended college but did not earn a degree. 

Employment was strongly tied to health insurance coverage. 

  • Employed adults were 3.4 times more likely than the unemployed to have health insurance.
  • Adults not in the workforce (primarily homemakers, students, seasonal workers interviewed in the off season, and retirees under age 65) were more likely to be uninsured than those who were employed.