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U.S. Uninsured Rate Rises to Highest Point in Four Years

January 24, 2019

According to findings from data collected as a part of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index, the percentage of U.S. adults without insurance is 13.7 percent, the highest level in more than four years.

The fourth quarter 2018 Gallup data also revealed that uninsured rates increased most among:

  • Women (up 3.9%)
  • Young adults age 18–34 (up 4.8%)
  • Those with household incomes between $24,000–$48,000 (up 3%)

All regions except for the East, which went down .4 percent, reported increases:

  • South up 3.8 percent
  • West up 3.6 percent
  • Midwest up 3.2 percent

Gallup notes that several factors may have contributed to the increase in the uninsured rate, including premium increases in many states, less plan choices in many states, changing subsidy qualifications, a shortened open enrollment period, and reduced federal funding for navigators.

The data solidify what could be a continuing trend as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimates that more than 8.4 million Americans enrolled in health insurance using HealthCare.gov during 2019 Open Enrollment, down from 8.7 million during the previous year. In Pennsylvania, enrollments dropped about five percent.

Despite these challenges, the hard work of the hospital community, community health centers, health plans, consumer advocates, and the Pennsylvania Insurance Department help to sustain Pennsylvanians’ access to health insurance.

HAP and Pennsylvania hospitals and health systems continue to advocate for health insurance coverage for all Pennsylvanians.

For more information, please contact Jolene Calla, HAP’s vice president, health care finance and insurance.

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