In Modesto area, between 17% and 22% are medically uninsured

New census data provide a clearer picture of the medically uninsured.

In Stanislaus County, about one in four adults, ages 18 to 64, live without health coverage. The figure includes healthy young adults who often disregard the need for health insurance.

Among county residents in the 40 to 65 age group, who are at higher risk for chronic health problems, the data shows that 15 percent lack insurance to pay for treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease or cancer. They have no protection against hospital bills that could drive them to bankruptcy.

Children in California are usually covered by their parents' health plans or government programs, but 11 percent of Stanislaus County children are not covered. A local official said the 16,000 children are probably uninsured because their families have not applied for services or have not gone through the renewal process for the state's Medi-Cal program.

The 2007 data comes from the Census Bureau's Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, which provide county-level health coverage information by age, sex and income category.

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