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Community Health Data Base
An Information Service of the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation

New Study Finds High Wage Earners Without Health Insurance Rising in Southeastern Pennsylvania
Friday. July 22, 2005

Axler, Francine
(215) 985-2521

PHILADELPHIA, PA, July 22, 2005 — According to a new report released by the Philadelphia Health Management Corporation (PHMC), a nonprofit public health agency that has served the region since 1972, the percentage of high-income wage earners without health insurance has increased since 2000. According to the agency’s Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey, 12.7% of adults who earned more than $60,000 in 2004 were uninsured, compared to 6.9% of high wage earners without insurance in 2000. Meanwhile, the percentage of uninsured adults earning less than $23,000 annually decreased from 49.6% in 2000 to 41.0% in 2004. The study also found that contrary to popular perceptions of the uninsured, the majority of uninsured adults in the region (57.5%) are employed, either full or part-time.
Within the five-county Southeastern Pennsylvania region, Philadelphia has the highest percentage of adults without insurance (11.8% in Philadelphia, vs. 5.8% in Bucks County, 4.6% in Montgomery County, 4.3% in Chester County, and 4.2% in Delaware County). Philadelphia also has the highest rate of uninsured children in the region (7.0% in Philadelphia, vs. 5.6% in Bucks County, 3.7% in Montgomery County, 1.7% in Chester County, and 1.1% in Delaware County).
The study found that uninsured adults are less likely than insured adults to receive preventive screenings in the past year. For example, uninsured women in Southeastern Pennsylvania are nearly twice as likely as insured women to have not received a breast exam, Pap smear, and mammogram within the past year. Uninsured men are twice as likely as insured men to have not received a prostate exam within the past year.
The 2004 Southeastern Pennsylvania Household Health Survey was conducted by PHMC’s Community Health Data Base project in the summer of 2004, including more than 10,000 telephone interviews in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties. The Community Health Data Base is funded by The Pew Charitable Trusts, The William Penn Foundation, The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania, and a variety of participating agencies from the health, government, nonprofit, and academic sectors. PHMC is a non-profit public health organization committed to improving the health of the community through outreach, education, research, planning, technical assistance, and direct services.