Wednesday, September 14, 2016

9.1% in U.S. lacked health coverage last year; rates trended lower in states that expanded Medicaid

KFF maps; click on image to view a larger version
A U.S. Census Bureau survey released Tuesday shows that the share of Americans without health insurance dropped 1.3 percentage points in 2015. Only 9.1 percent of people, or 29 million, lacked health insurance last year.

The survey, which includes data for every state, has maps showing the difference between states that expanded Medicaid under federal health reform, and those that did not. (Maib map shows ranges of uninsured rates in 2015 for Medicaid expansion status, for states that expanded as of Jan. 1, 2015)

About 4 million Americans secured health insurance in 2015 under Obamacare, Amy Goldstein reports for The Washington Post. The Census survey shows "that the gains were driven primarily by an expansion of coverage among people buying individual policies, rather than getting health benefits through a job. This includes, but is not limited to, the kind of coverage sold on the insurance exchanges that began in 2014 under the Affordable Care Act."

The "report shows insurance gains across all income levels, ages and types of employment, although some groups did better than others," Julie Rovner reports for the Kaiser Health News. "Young adults—specifically 26-year-olds—remain the most likely to lack coverage. Although the Affordable Care Act guaranteed that young adults could stay on their parents’ plans longer than in the past, that protection ends when they turn 26." (Kaiser map)
Wisconsin covers adults up to the federal poverty threshold but did not expand Medicaid. The other states with asterisks have received federal waivers for demonstration projects.

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