Kentucky leads nation in drop of uninsured

Just 5.9 percent of the state’s population was uninsured in 2014, giving Minnesota the fifth lowest rate in the nation, according to data released Wednesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

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Anya Wallack, director of HealthSource RI, the state’s health insurance exchange, suggests that the Affordable Care Act is working.

Not surprisingly, the newly released American Community Survey also indicates Utahns were significantly more likely to be uninsured when their yearly household incomes fell below $25,000. The rate of uninsured blacks dropped 4.1 points, to 11.8 percent. In Utah County, it was 10.8 percent and in Davis County, 7.8 percent.

Texas, which still has the biggest share of its population uninsured, now has more people without health coverage than any other state.

Supporters credited the health overhaul’s expansion of private insurance through subsidies and new rules for health plans, as well as the dramatic extension of the Medicaid program for low-income Americans, with achieving what they called a historic success.

Meanwhile, wages continued a long stagnation, with the median household income remaining at $53,657, effectively the same, after adjusted for inflation, as the year before, showing why so many Americans feel that they have not experienced a major improvement in their economic prospects. The poverty rate for those ages 18 to 64 was 13.5 percent.

The large drop noted by the census numbers for Oregon generally echo earlier findings.

More than half of Americans (55.4 percent) receive insurance through their employers, followed by Medicaid (19.5 percent), and Medicare (16 percent).

“A review of the uninsured rates across all 50 states shows that those states that opted to expand Medicaid and/or ran their own marketplace (or worked with the federal government on marketplace planning) saw the greatest decreases in the uninsured”, according to an analysis done by the National Academy for State Health Policy.

Knickman said that despite these gains, significant work remains in addressing the 1.7 million New Yorkers who still don’t have health care insurance.

“Florida has one of the highest rates of uninsured in the country, and in Palm Beach County we’re hit hard enough”, Stephenson said.

The Census figures showed that of 24 states and District of Columbia that expanded Medicaid, only four had rates of uninsured of 14 percent or more, compared to 15 of the 26 non-expansion states.

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“New York state has been a leader in implementing the Affordable Care Act, and it shows”, he said.

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