The United States has one of the most expensive health care systems in the world, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better.
Many Americans do not have coverage, leaving them vulnerable to high medical bills when they get sick or injured without the proper support from their employers or government programs.
Even those who are eligible for health insurance through their employers may choose not to sign up due to concerns about the cost of premiums and deductibles that are too high.
More than 4 in 10 American adults (44%) were uninsured for all of 2016
As of 2016, more than 4 in 10 American adults (44%) were uninsured for all of that year.
This means they did not have any type of health coverage at any time during that calendar year.
This is up slightly from 2015 when 43% were uninsured, but still below pre-ACA levels in 2013 when 48% of U.S. adults were without coverage (Figure 1).
Coverage gains made as a result of ACA continued to drive declines in uninsurance since 2014, with increases seen each year since then.
The uninsured rate declined by 1.0 percentage point between 2015 and 2016, driven by coverage gains among 19-64 year olds: The uninsured rate decreased by 1.0 percentage point between 2015 and 2016 (44% vs.
The costs associated with being uninsured
When we think about being uninsured, we tend to imagine life-or-death situations.
(Will I be able to pay for that ambulance ride if I’m in a car accident?) But there are plenty of less dramatic costs to being uninsured—like avoiding medical care altogether because you can’t afford it.
Even when you aren’t struggling with life or death scenarios, it can still be hard to find a doctor who will see you without any insurance at all.
And even if your body doesn’t suffer right away, skipping out on basic preventive care may lead to bigger bills down the road: not getting regular checkups and mammograms can result in higher costs later on if doctors catch issues late or don’t catch them at all.
Affordable Care Act coverage options help millions of uninsured individuals and families get coverage, regardless of their income, immigration status, or pre-existing conditions
Individuals, families, small businesses and employees of all companies with fewer than 50 employees can shop for coverage in state-based health insurance marketplaces.
Starting in 2014, low- and moderate-income people will be eligible for Medicaid in most states.
Approximately one million uninsured veterans are already covered under a specific VA program or could qualify to get coverage through Medicaid if they meet certain criteria.
Millions more uninsured individuals also may qualify for tax credits that can help reduce costs when buying coverage on their own.
For example, people who don’t have access to employer-sponsored insurance and earn between 100 percent and 400 percent of federal poverty level (FPL) may be eligible for subsidies if they buy coverage through a marketplace.
Only 9.3% Lack Coverage in Medicaid Expansion States
If you live in one of more than two dozen states that have accepted funding to expand Medicaid, you may think that nearly all your fellow citizens are covered.
After all, aren’t those who earn up to 138% of the federal poverty level eligible for government-sponsored coverage? Not quite. While those above poverty are now eligible for Medicaid in states that expanded coverage, there are still millions more at or below 100% of poverty whose incomes make them ineligible.
In fact, some 3 million people—about 9.3% of uninsured adults—fall into that category.
And they account for more than a quarter (27%) of America’s total number of uninsured adult residents under age 65 . . . They could be our neighbors and friends—or even ourselves.
Some states don’t make it easy to apply for Medicaid
There are currently about 50 million people in America who lack health insurance.
In fact, it’s estimated that nearly 45 million people, including children, don’t have coverage of any kind.
And that number is only expected to grow in coming years. According to a recent estimate from The Commonwealth Fund and Georgetown University Center on Health Insurance Reforms, there will be as many as 55 million uninsured Americans by 2020—that’s about one-third of all non-elderly adults!
Half of all uninsured are eligible but unenrolled
The Affordable Care Act requires nearly all Americans to have health insurance by 2014.
While there are some exceptions, if you don’t enroll, you could face a fine at tax time.
You might think only folks too young or poor to buy their own coverage fall into that category.
However, about half of all uninsured adults are eligible for coverage but haven’t signed up, according to a recent study from The Commonwealth Fund and George Washington University researchers.
What’s more: Almost two-thirds of those people earn 400 percent of poverty level or less—in other words, they should be able to afford coverage under Obamacare plans.
Many more people now qualify due to ACA
The ACA has opened up opportunities for more people to qualify for affordable health care.
In 2017, 12.2% of American adults had no health insurance coverage, which amounts to almost 28 million people.
However, keep in mind that a higher percentage of uninsured people live in states that chose not to expand Medicaid under Obamacare — and a smaller percentage of uninsured are concentrated in states that opted into Medicare expansion.
With open enrollment beginning on November 1st, there’s never been a better time to learn about your options and sign up for coverage through healthcare.gov or your state marketplace – so you can take advantage of tax-credit subsidies if they’re available to you!
The House Republican Bill would result in 23 million fewer insured by 2026; the Senate Republican Bill would cause 22 million fewer insured by 2026
The House Republican Bill, AHCA (American Health Care Act), would result in 23 million fewer insured by 2026; and The Senate Republican Bill, BCRA (Better Care Reconciliation Act), would cause 22 million fewer insured by 2026.
Both bills are being debated in Congress. And both would likely cause states to reduce eligibility for Medicaid even more than they did under current law, which is projected to reduce enrollment by 14 million between 2017 and 2026.
Uninsured American health care statistics 2020
This figure shows the total number of uninsured people in each state as a percentage of all ages for 2020.
In Texas, 20 percent or 5 million people are expected to be uninsured.
Other states with high rates of uninsured population include Florida (22 percent) and Georgia (21 percent).
Mississippi had an estimated 24 percent of residents who lacked health coverage at year-end 2013.
Maine had 12 percent, New Mexico 11 percent and Arizona, Nevada and California 10 percent each.
The District of Columbia is expected to be below 10% in 2020.
Why are people uninsured
There are a number of reasons why people in America go without health insurance.
In some cases, it’s because they just can’t afford to pay for it, despite their best efforts.
Others choose not to buy health coverage simply because they’re young and healthy and don’t see much need for it yet.
The most common reason is that individuals do not qualify for government assistance in paying for healthcare. (Source: ABI Research)