Global News

Pennsylvania uninsured rate 5.6 percent, a new low, state says

Pennsylvania uninsured rate 5.6 percent, a new low, state says

The number of people without health insurance continued to fall in 2016, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau. The percent of people in the United States uninsured for the entire year fell from 9.1 percent (29 million) in 2015 to 8.8 percent (28.1 million) in 2016, with insurance coverage changing marginally for most forms of coverage. 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.

The report, released Tuesday, shows that since 2013, the year before major parts of the law took effect, Kansas had a lower uninsured rate than the rest of the nation: 12.3 percent in Kansas compared with 14.5 percent nationally. The 8.8% uninsured figure mirrors a National Center for Health Statistics 2017 National Health Interview Survey released last month.

When Obama took office in 2009, during the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, more than 50 million (PDF) Americans were uninsured, or almost 17% of the population. Rates of Medicaid-insured visits increased in expansion states for all racial/ethnic groups immediately following ACA Medicaid expansion, whereas no significant change was observed for Medicaid-insured visits for any racial/ethnic group in non-expansion states.

For expansion states, the uninsured rate ranged from 2.5 percent in MA to 14 percent in Alaska.

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ObamaCare required most people to enroll in coverage or pay a penalty, and allowed young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance plans. Lawmakers have an increasingly small window if they push again for the law's repeal.

Job-based insurance continued to be the most common source of coverage. Florida could cover more than 500,000 more residents with Medicaid expansion. "Having health insurance coverage, especially in a state where a natural disaster can turn your world upside down, is absolutely essential". Census' report for that year showed that 10.4 percent of Americans, or 33 million people, still lacked insurance. The only statistically significant gain in coverage (0.4 percent) was in the Medicare population. In 2015, large swaths of the western part and southeastern parts of the US became lighter blue, indicating an uninsured rate of less than 10 percent. Like the Minnesota's 1332 proposal, Oregon's proposal would reinsure claims that exceeded an attachment point at a specified percentage rate up to a cap, instead of reinsuring cases with particular conditions as Alaska will do in its 1332 waiver program. Meanwhile, 10.5% of black people and 7.6% of Asians were uninsured.

Both the overall number of uninsured and the percentage are record lows. "Hispanics had the highest uninsured rate, at 16.0 percent", according to the report.


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