Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Census shows uninsured rate drops to new record low

Census shows uninsured rate drops to new record low

Pennsylvania's 5.6 percent uninsured rate was released as part of a national study on health insurance coverage for 2016 based on current population reports issued by the Census Bureau this week.

Nationally, the number of people without insurance dropped from 29 million in 2015 to 28.1 million in 2016. It had been 9.1% in 2015. Hispanics had the highest uninsured rate at 16% in 2016. He made that a linchpin of his 2008 campaign, and his administration's effort to overhaul the nation's health system through the ACA focused on expanding coverage. In 2010, the percentage of people without health insurance stood at 16.3 percent, or a whopping 49 million Americans. Those gains were most dramatic in states that as allowed by the ACA expanded eligibility for their residents' access to Medicaid, the health coverage program for mainly poor people that is jointly run with the federal government. MA passed a law requiring residents to obtain health insurance in 2006, under former Governor Mitt Romney.

More Texans are insured now than four years ago - but the state is still home to 4.5 million people without health coverage, the largest share in the country.

By 2016, however, the rate in Kansas had fallen only 3.5 percentage points, while the national uninsured rate fell almost 6 percentage points. Rates of uninsured visits decreased for all racial/ethnic groups in both expansion and non-expansion states, but the declines were more immediate and pronounced in expansion states.

More than half of Americans-55.7%-get health insurance through their jobs.

About 67.5% of those with insurance coverage were privately insured in 2016, while 37.3% were enrolled in government programs. Indeed, the ACA's Medicaid expansion seems to be the most important factor explaining the decline in the uninsured since 2013.

Kaiser Health News, a nonprofit health newsroom whose stories appear in news outlets nationwide, is an editorially independent part of the Kaiser Family Foundation. "Having health insurance coverage, especially in a state where a natural disaster can turn your world upside down, is absolutely essential". Job-based health plans covered nearly 56 percent of Americans, followed by 19.4 percent covered by Medicaid, and 16.7 percent covered by Medicare. White Americans continued to have the lowest uninsured rates by race, at just 6.3 percent. Only Texas had an uninsured rate above 14 percent, and only three other states - Florida, Georgia and Oklahoma - had uninsured rates of 12 percent or higher. Census' report for that year showed that 10.4 percent of Americans, or 33 million people, still lacked insurance. Meanwhile, 10.5% of black people and 7.6% of Asians were uninsured.

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