The uninsured rate in the US dropped to its lowest level ever last year – 9.1% to be exact. But that drop in the uninsured rate hasn’t been equally felt across the country, and data recently released from the Census Bureau shows us why and a potential obvious solution to decreasing that rate even more.
When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it originally called for an expansion of Medicaid eligibility to all people who make up to 138% of the poverty level; however, the Supreme Court ruled that the forcing states to comply with the Medicaid expansion amounted to coercion – which is unconstitutional – and allowed the states to opt out. To date, 31 states have chosen to expand eligibility, most recently Louisiana. But that leaves 19 states that haven’t expanded, leaving a “coverage gap” in the 19 states where poor people are not eligible for Medicaid or for receiving subsidies for private health insurance available on the insurance exchanges.
It comes as no surprise then that, on average, the uninsured rate in states that haven’t expanded Medicaid is higher than in those that have. You can see the rates by state below, clearly demonstrating non-expansion states like Texas and Florida with higher uninsured rates.
So where you live really does matter when it comes to insuring your health.