Health Insurance in the USA (Part 2)

The share of the national population without health insurance, in 2015, was 9.4 percent. This is from the American Community Survey (ACS) conducted by the US Census Bureau. This is down from 15.1 percent uninsured in 2009. This is significant progress.

The 2015 uninsured share ranges from a low of 2.8 percent in Massachusetts to a high of 17.1 percent in Texas.

Massachusetts has the lowest uninsured rate (and highest insured rate) due to the passage of their state health care reform act in 2006, four years before the federal Affordable Care Act. Massachusetts has a four year head start on the rest of the USA.

Texas (17.% uninsured) has not expanded their state Medicaid program after passage of the federal ACA. Alaska (14.9% uninsured) at the second highest, has expanded the state Medicaid program. Rounding out the top (or bottom) five states are: Oklahoma (13.9% uninsured), Georgia (13.9%) and Florida (13.3%). Only Alaska of these five states has expanded their Medicaid program.

These state-level statistics on the health uninsured are easily accessibly from the Census Bureau’s American Factfinder, Table “GCT2701” — a Geographic Comparison Table, Subject #27 (Health Insurance), Table “01”.

Massachusetts uninsured rate has fallen from 4.2 percent in 2009 to 2.8 percent by the year 2015. Massachusetts had the highest rate of health insurance coverage throughout this time period.

The Texas uninsured rate has fallen 23.8 percent in 2009 (worst in the nation) to 17.1 percent in 2015 (still worst in the USA, but improving).

In the nation’s largest state, California, the health uninsured rate fell from 18.0 percent in 2009 to 8.6 percent in 2015.

Oregon had the largest decrease in the share of health uninsured, falling from 17.0 percent in 2009 to 7.0 percent in 2015. Nevada had the second largest decrease, falling from 21.9 percent in 2009 to 12.3 percent in 2015. California had the third largest decrease.

The smallest decrease was in Massachusetts: from 4.2 percent in 2009 to 2.8 percent in 2015.

No states had an increase in the uninsured rate between 2009 and 2015.

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