The Census Bureau has reported revised figures on health insurance coverage that show that more Americans had health insurance coverage in 2005 than the bureau previously reported.
The revised report shows that in 2005, 44.8 million people, 15.3 percent of the population, were without health insurance--about 1.8 million fewer than the Census Bureau reported in August 2006. The original 2005 estimate was 46.6 million, or about 15.9 percent of the population.
The bureau also revised health-insurance-coverage figures for 2004. For both 2004 and 2005, the original and revised estimates differ by less than one percent--0.6 percent for 2005 and 0.7 percent in 2004.
The Census Bureau says it discovered the need for a revision during a conversion to a more accurate operating system for the Current Population Survey. In improving the quality and timeliness of the data, the Census Bureau noted that, in a small percentage of cases, some residents in a household were tabulated as "not covered" by insurance when they had in fact reported coverage. No other questions in the survey were affected.
"We are committed to ensuring that the nation has the most accurate numbers we can provide in a timely manner," says Howard Hogan, Census Bureau associate director for demographic programs. "Once the conversion began in October, it took several months to test and verify the problem and then compute the revised figures for 2004 and 2005. The technical verification process was completed in February."