Where the uninsured are

Individuals without health insurance are quickly coming up on an important deadline.  According to regulations in the Affordable Care Act, individuals must purchase health insurance for 2014 by March 31st or face a penalty when filing their taxes.  With the looming deadline, the Obama Administration is aggressively pursuing these individuals.  But maybe those efforts don’t need to be nationwide

It turns out that half of the nation’s uninsured live in relatively small geographic areas.  Half of uninsured adults under 65 live in just 116 of the nation’s 3,143 counties, while half of all 19-39 year olds without insurance  live in 108 counties.  This last group is critically important to success of the Affordable Care Act because they tend to be young and healthy – a group that costs insurance companies less and will ultimately subsidize insurance for older and sicker individuals.

In fact, nearly 2 million uninsured individuals live in Los Angeles County, which accounts for roughly 5% of the national uninsured population, while nearly 30% of residents in Harris County, Texas (home to Houston) are uninsured.  Federal efforts have shifted somewhat to metro areas like Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, and Philadelphia – particularly since these cities are located in states that are not running their own insurance exchanges.

uninsured individuals per county

 

rate of uninsured per county

rate of uninsured per county

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About justgngr

the ramblings of a medical professional by day, judgmental ginger by night
This entry was posted in health policy, medicine, newspaper, politics and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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