Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Health Insurance: Where You Live Matters

The Affordable Care Act is moving the needle: fewer Americans are without health insurance. Among 18-to-64-year-olds, the percentage who were uninsured when interviewed by the National Health Interview Survey fell from 20.4 percent in 2013 to 17.0 percent in January-June 2014. Demographically speaking, that decline is big news.

But the growing safety net of health insurance is not evenly distributed. In states that refused to participate in Medicaid expansion and the marketplace program, a much larger percentage of working-age adults is uninsured. By geographic region, here are the percentages of working-age adults without health insurance in January-June 2014...

Percent of 18-to-64-year-olds without health insurance
25.9% West South Central
21.2% South Atlantic
18.6% Mountain
17.0% Pacific
16.5% East South Central
14.4% West North Central
12.7% East North Central
12.3% Middle Atlantic
7.6% New England

For working-age adults, the 18-percentage-point health insurance coverage gap between the West South Central states (Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and Texas) and New England means where you live matters more than ever.

Source: National Center for Health Statistics, Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-June 2014

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