Currently Viewing:
Currently Reading
Continuing Systemic Treatment in Cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma Associated With Lower Healthcare Costs
March 20, 2019 – Mary Caffrey
Adherence to COPD Treatment Lower With 3 Inhalers Compared With 2
March 20, 2019 – Jaime Rosenberg
CDC Says New HIV Transmissions Stem From Lack of Treatment, Unawareness of Infection
March 20, 2019 – Wallace Stephens
What We're Reading: Postpartum Depression Drug Approval; Marijuana and Psychosis; Mississippi Abortion Bill
March 20, 2019 – AJMC Staff
AHIP, Employer Groups Seek Congressional Action on Surprise Medical Bills
March 19, 2019 – Allison Inserro
The Current Landscape of CGRP Inhibitor Coverage
March 19, 2019 – Samantha DiGrande
COPD Symptoms Improved in Case Study of Endobronchial Valve Treatment
March 19, 2019 – Wallace Stephens
What We're Reading: Ohio Work Requirements; Healthcare Data Breaches; Patients Try to Lower Drug Costs
March 19, 2019 – AJMC Staff
MS May Not Flare Post Pregnancy, Study Finds
March 18, 2019 – Samantha DiGrande

Rate of Uninsured Increased in 2017 for the First Time Since 2014

Allison Inserro
Days before open enrollment for health insurance in the individual market for 2019 sold through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges comes to a close, a new report found health insurance coverage gained between 2013 and 2017 under the ACA is slipping.
Days before open enrollment for health insurance in the individual market for 2019 sold through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges comes to a close, a new report found health insurance coverage gained between 2013 and 2017 under the ACA is slipping.

According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the number of uninsured people rose by nearly 700,000 to 27.4 million people in 2017, representing the first increase in the uninsured rate since the implementation of the ACA in 2014. In 2016, the uninsurance rate in the United States fell to a historic low of just under 27 million, down from 44 million in 2013.

Using data from the federal American Community Survey, Kaiser found changes in the uninsured rate in states that used the ACA to expand Medicaid were essentially flat overall, but patterns varied by states and by demographic group. The uninsured rate in states that did not expand Medicaid increased, both overall and for most groups. The largest increases in the uninsured rates in nonexpansion states were among blacks and those living above the poverty line.

Even with the ACA, many uninsured people cite the cost of insurance as the main reason they lack health coverage. Last year, 45% of uninsured adults said that they remained uninsured because the cost of coverage was too high.

In response to those concerns, the Trump administration has pushed for the expansion of short-term, limited duration health plans and association health plans, which are not required to cover pre-existing conditions or all 10 essential health benefits, as originally envisioned under the ACA. The administration made those moves after Republicans were unable to repeal the ACA outright, and instead removed the individual mandate penalty.

Kaiser also noted that some people who are eligible for financial assistance under the ACA may not know they can get help; the administration has slashed marketing and outreach to promote the ACA and also shortened the open enrollment period, compared with the Obama administration. The open enrollment period for 2019 ends Saturday, December 15.

Other low-income and poor adults in states that did not expand Medicaid remain ineligible for financial assistance for coverage.

Even workers who do have access to coverage through work may not be able to afford it, Kaiser reported. Last year, 71% of nonelderly uninsured workers had an employer that did not offer health benefits; 9 out of 10 uninsured workers who do enroll in employer-sponsored coverage report cost as the main reason for declining. From 2008 to 2018, total premiums for family coverage increased by 55%, but the worker’s share increased by 65%, outpacing wage growth.

Reflecting income and the availability of Medicaid, people who live in the South or West are more likely to be uninsured. Most who remain uninsured have been without coverage for long periods of time.

It remains to be seen how the ongoing healthcare debate, which heavily influenced the midterm elections, will affect future enrollment rates. If more states decide to expand Medicaid—as did Utah, Idaho, and Nebraska—it is possible there could be additional coverage gains.

Related Articles

No States Reported a Decline in the Uninsured Rate From 2016 to 2017
Partial Medicaid Expansions Miss the Mark for Access, Care, Policy Group Says
ACA Pushed Uninsured Rate Down to 10% in 2016, Even More So in Medicaid Expansion States
Advocates Lambast Growing Number of Uninsured in Arkansas Due to Work Rules
Studies Show Medicaid Expansion Is Improving Health, While Jury Still Out on Chronic Disease
Copyright AJMC 2006-2018 Clinical Care Targeted Communications Group, LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Welcome the the new and improved, the premier managed market network. Tell us about yourself so that we can serve you better.
Sign Up

Sign In

Not a member? Sign up now!