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More Non-Elderly Americans Uninsured in 2017 Versus 2016

More than 700,000 Americans uninsured in 2017 versus 2016, despite broad economic improvement

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MONDAY, Oct. 1, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- From 2016 to 2017, there was an increase in the number of uninsured non-elderly Americans, according to a report published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Laura Skopec, from the Urban Institute's Health Policy Center in Washington, D.C., used data from the Census Bureau to examine trends in insurance among non-elderly Americans from 2016 to 2017.

Skopec notes that between 2016 and 2017, there was an increase in uninsurance in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) for the first time since before the ACA took effect. In 2017, 702,000 fewer non-elderly Americans had coverage than in 2016. The loss of coverage was seen despite broad economic improvements, including increased employment and increasing median incomes as well as growth in employer-sponsored insurance. Increases in uninsured rates for non-elderly residents were seen for 16 states during 2016 to 2017; nine of these states had expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA. The largest increases in the number of uninsured were seen in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility, including Texas, Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Private non-group coverage decreased from 10.9 to 10.3 percent of the non-elderly population from 2016 to 2017; 36 states experienced declines in private non-group coverage.

"Despite gains in employment and income and reductions in poverty nationwide between 2016 and 2017, the number of uninsured non-elderly Americans increased by 702,000," Skopec writes.

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