News Worms
News Worms


State's Uninsured Rate Dropped Last Year, But Trend May Not Continue

State's Uninsured Rate Dropped Last Year, But Trend May Not Continue

The percentage of people lacking insurance coverage fell for most age groups under age 65, with generally larger decreases for working-age adults (although working-age adults are less likely to be covered than children or adults over age 65). Only the northeastern US, and some Midwest states were in lighter shades of blue, reflecting their relatively low uninsured rates.

The new report also shows that from 2015 to 2016, the uninsured rate in Kansas fell only 0.4 percentage points, a change that was considered not statistically significant because of the margin of error involved in the survey.

The uninsured rate decreased from 9.1% in 2015 to 8.8% in 2016 (a record low), according to a new U.S. Census report. In 2016, Kentucky, West Virginia, Connecticut and Rhode Island all surpassed or tied Wisconsin's rate of insurance coverage. Additionally, the ACA provided the commonwealth's former foster kids with health care coverage until age 26.

The state's uninsured rate is the highest in the country and double the national average.

"When Gov. Wolf expanded Medicaid in Pennsylvania, hundreds of thousands of uninsured were then able to obtain access to health care coverage", said Acting Secretary for Human Services Teresa Miller. Medicaid now covers more than 19 percent of the population and Medicare almost 17 percent.

Anne Dunkelberg, associate director of the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities, said in a press release that she was pleased to see more insured Texans under the Affordable Care Act, but that "all Texans will see health benefits and cost savings if Texas follows the lead of the majority of states - including very conservative states - by expanding coverage for these families using federal Medicaid dollars". Obamacare was signed into law in 2010, but it only began taking full effect in late 2013, with the opening of government-run insurance marketplaces such as HealthCare.gov, which sell private health plans.

Shelby Livingston is an insurance reporter.

Job-based insurance continued to be the most common source of coverage.

Like Texas, Florida can partially attribute its higher-than-average uninsured rate to a large immigrant population and a strict Medicaid program. The data also showed that 16.2% of people buy insurance directly from a health plan or through an exchange, and 4.6% of insured people have military-based coverage. Another 16.2 percent of Americans bought private individual health plans, which includes Obamacare plans sold on government exchanges.

Hawaii is staying put for the second year in a row as the state with the third-lowest uninsured rate. "The fear is that [the 2016 uninsured rates] are not a true representation of what's happening now". The uninsured rates for Blacks and Asians were higher than for non-Hispanic Whites, at 10.5 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively.

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