Magazine article The Nation's Health

Uninsurance Rates Drop in Most States, but Gains Threatened

Magazine article The Nation's Health

Uninsurance Rates Drop in Most States, but Gains Threatened

Article excerpt

THANKS TO coverage expansions ushered in by the Affordable Care Act, nearly every state in the country has reported significant drops in the uninsured rate.

According to a new report released in December from the Commonwealth Fund, 47 states experienced a drop of five percentage points or more in their adult uninsured rates in the years following ACA implementation. New Mexico was home to the biggest drop in uninsured adults, going from 28 percent in 2013 to 13 percent in 2016. A dozen additional states experienced double-digit drops as well. The uninsured rate for children and teens dropped in most states as well, with 33 states experiencing a drop of at least two percentage points. Nevada experienced the biggest decline in children's uninsurance with a drop of 8 percent.

"The Affordable Care Act has successfully allowed states to expand health insurance to millions of their residents," said Sara Collins, PhD, vice president for health care coverage and access at the Commonwealth Fund and co-author of the new report, "States' Progress on Health Coverage and Access to Care, 2013-2016," in a release.

In analyzing states' performances on access and affordability, Colllins and colleagues ranked Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., Rhode Island, Connecticut, Hawaii and Minnesota at the top; South Carolina, Mississippi, Wyoming, Texas and Oklahoma all placed at the bottom. The report found positive gains in insurance coverage translated into positive gains for people's health as well. …

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