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First Health Insurance

Saturday, April 9th. Health insurance coverage has been a major topic of media and political interest for the past decade or so, but the concept goes back 175 years.

The Massachusetts Health Insurance Company of Boston was organized this month in 1847 to offer group policies with benefits in the form of income replacement. Whatever the merits of the venture, the company failed, and it took about a half century before health insurance began to catch on in the United States.

The Census Bureau’s American Community Survey shows that out of a population of over 323 million, some 293.5 million, or nearly 91 percent, were insured. Some 114 million Americans have additional or exclusive public health insurance coverage.

You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at www.census.gov.

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