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Latest Gallup poll shows more Americans receiving government health insurance Posted: October 6th, 2010

By Maryalene LaPonsie

More Americans are relying on government health insurance options for medical coverage. According to the latest Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, a record number of respondents report having insurance through Medicare, Medicaid or military/veteran's benefits.

The poll, which surveyed 30,000 Americans in September 2010, found that most residents receive their benefits from employer-sponsored group insurance plans. When asked where they received their health insurance coverage, the responses were:

  • Employer-based insurance: 45.4 percent
  • Government programs: 26.3 percent
  • Uninsured: 16.1 percent
  • Private insurance or other coverage: 12.2 percent

Although health reform legislation is expected to open government insurance programs to additional enrollees, the Gallup survey indicates that it is not yet having a significant impact on American health care. Instead, the recent numbers continue a trend of fewer residents receiving insurance through employers, while more are turning to government programs.

With some major reform provisions becoming effective in September 2010, later Gallup polls may reflect a change in how families find medical coverage. These provisions include allowing children to remain on their parent's group insurance plan through age 26 and prohibiting insurance companies from canceling coverage once an individual becomes sick.