Economic Snapshot | Health

Census Numbers Show Mismatch in Health Care: Many states with highest uninsurance rates are not establishing exchanges

On Tuesday, the Census released data from the Current Population Survey on the share of the US population uninsured – at 15.4 percent. Today, the Census released data from the American Communities Survey, which provides a far more detailed analysis of what is happening across the country. As shown in the map below, there is a high level of variation in the share of the population uninsured. It ranges from 3.9 percent in Massachusetts up to more than 20 percent in Florida, Alaska, Nevada, and Texas.

Hopefully, as the health insurance exchanges as part of the Affordable Care Act start accepting applications for insurance next month, many people will find affordable insurance and the numbers of uninsured Americans will fall. Unfortunately, many states which have the highest uninsurance rates are the same ones who are not stepping in to establish exchanges for their populations. Fortunately, the federal government is stepping in and people across the country will feel relief soon.

State Total civilian noninstitutionalized population: percent uninsured
United States 14.8%
Alabama 13.3%
Alaska 20.5%
Arizona 17.6%
Arkansas 16.4%
California 17.9%
Colorado 14.7%
Connecticut 9.1%
Delaware 8.8%
District of Columbia 5.9%
Florida 20.1%
Georgia 18.4%
Hawaii 6.9%
Idaho 16.2%
Illinois 12.8%
Indiana 14.3%
Iowa 8.4%
Kansas 12.6%
Kentucky 13.9%
Louisiana 16.9%
Maine 10.2%
Maryland 10.3%
Massachusetts 3.9%
Michigan 11.4%
Minnesota 8.0%
Mississippi 17.0%
Missouri 13.6%
Montana 18.0%
Nebraska 11.3%
Nevada 22.2%
New Hampshire 10.6%
New Jersey 12.7%
New Mexico 18.4%
New York 10.9%
North Carolina 16.6%
North Dakota 10.0%
Ohio 11.5%
Oklahoma 18.4%
Oregon 14.9%
Pennsylvania 9.8%
Rhode Island 11.1%
South Carolina 16.8%
South Dakota 11.5%
Tennessee 13.9%
Texas 22.5%
Utah 14.5%
Vermont 6.5%
Virginia 12.5%
Washington 13.9%
West Virginia 14.4%
Wisconsin 9.0%
Wyoming 15.4%

Source: EPI analysis of American Community Survey public data series (Table S2701)

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