Health Insurance

The percentage of residents in the City of St. Louis who do not have health insurance at the point of survey

Equity Score
Indicator scores are represented on a scale from 1 to 100.
Disparity Ratio
Disparity direction: black-white
Residents without health insurance

Black residents are twice as likely to not have health insurance as white residents.

Source: American Community Survey 1-year PUMS

A score of 100 represents racial equity, meaning there are no racial disparities in outcomes. The lower the Equity Score, the greater the disparity.

For Health Insurance, a score of 100 — a score reflecting racial equity — would mean black and white residents are equally likely to be uninsured. It is important to note that for this indicator, equity is not our only goal; we also want to improve outcomes for all.

More Information

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What does this indicator measure?

Health Insurance measures the percentage of residents in the City of St. Louis who do not have health insurance at the point of survey. In 2016, 35,273 residents were without health insurance, or 11% of the population. 

Health Insurance analysis

Residents without health insurance in St. Louis City.

  All Black White Disparity Ratio Equity Score
Residents without health insurance 35,273 20,359 9,533 - -
Population 311,662 145,393 135,384 - -
Percent of population without health insurance 11.3%  14.0% 7.0% 1.989 to 1 40

Data Source: American Community Survey 1-year PUMS, 2016. 

Data Note: PUMS data may differ slightly from estimates on American FactFinder due to differences in sampling. See PUMS technical documentation for more information. Estimates for Hispanic and Asian residents are based on a small number of sample cases and should be interpreted with extreme caution. 

What does this analysis mean?

Black residents are twice as likely as white residents to be without health insurance. Hispanic residents are the most likely to be uninsured (21.7%), followed by Asian residents (18.7%). White residents are the least likely to be uninsured (7%), followed by black residents (14%). By comparison, 8.6% of all residents nationwide are uninsured. If health insurance rates were equitable, there would be 10,181 more black residents with health insurance. 

Why does Health Insurance matter?

Health insurance helps people access the medical and preventive care they need. As the Ferguson Commission report found, people without health insurance are “more than twice as likely to delay or forgo needed care,” and therefore are also “more likely to be hospitalized for preventable health conditions.” Lack of healthcare has secondary impacts on the population at large, as not staying current with immunizations or not treating communicable diseases can affect others beyond those uninsured.

Which Calls to Action from the Ferguson Commission report are linked with this indicator?

The expansion of Medicaid is a signature priority of the Ferguson Commission to address economic and health inequities. The calls to action related to health insurance include:

Questions for further investigation

  • Why is there racial disparity in Health Insurance? 
  • What can St. Louis do to reduce racial disparities in Health Insurance?
  • What initiatives are currently underway to reduce racial disparities in Health Insurance?

How can I learn more about this issue?

As part of its mission to improve the health of uninsured citizens in St. Louis City and County, the Regional Health Commission produces an annual "Access to Care" data book. The purpose of this annual data book is to review community-wide progress toward strengthening the healthcare safety net system in the region.

Gateway to Better Health is a temporary healthcare program for uninsured adults in St. Louis City and County. The City of St. Louis helps fund this program ($5 million/year) through the Department of Health. 

Casa de Salud facilitates and delivers high-quality clinical and mental health services for uninsured and underinsured patients, focusing on new immigrants and refugees who encounter barriers to accessing other sources of care.

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