Census Bureau: Fewer Uninsured Americans In 2016 Than In Prior Years

Census Bureau: Fewer Uninsured Americans In 2016 Than In Prior Years

Census Bureau: Fewer Uninsured Americans In 2016 Than In Prior Years

Last year, 28.1 million people, or 8.8% of the USA population, were uninsured for the entire calendar year, down from 29 million people, or 9.1% of the population in 2015.

After a sharp drop in the number of the uninsured and expansion of insurance coverage following the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act in 2014, insurance coverage has stabilized in the United States.

The number of Americans without health insurance hit a record low in 2016, the final year of the Obama administration, with just under 9 percent of people uninsured, according to data the Census Bureau released Tuesday (Sept 12). 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. Between 2015 and 2016, the coverage rate increased 1.1 percent for people with incomes below 100 percent of the federal poverty level but decreased 1 percentage point for those with incomes between 200 and 299 percent of poverty.

ObamaCare required most people to enroll in coverage or pay a penalty, and allowed young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parents' health insurance plans.

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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. States that expanded Medicaid had an average uninsured rate of 6.5% compared with an 11.7% average among states that did not expand, the Census Bureau reported. These findings suggest the need for continued and more equitable insurance expansion efforts to eliminate health insurance disparities. The uninsured rate remains higher in 19 non-expansion states. But government coverage is becoming more common. Lighter shades of blue highlight states with lower uninsured rates.

The rate of Medicare coverage increased from 16.3% to 16.7% in that period.

White people had the lowest uninsured rate of any ethnicity at 6.3%. MA continues to have the smallest percentage of uninsured residents in the country. "The uninsured rates for Blacks and Asians were higher than for non-Hispanic Whites, at 10.5 percent and 7.6 percent, respectively", Census said. The Census Bureau said 25 states and D.C. had uninsured rates at or below 8%, and seven states had uninsured rates of 5% or less. Texas is one of 19 states that has declined to extend this subsidized coverage to very poor adults. Census' report for that year showed that 10.4 percent of Americans, or 33 million people, still lacked insurance. She has a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism and a bachelor's in English from Clemson University.

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