Healthcare Economy

10 States With The Worst Health Coverage

5. Georgia
> Pct. without health insurance (2012): 18.4% (tied-5th highest)
> Unemployment rate (2012): 9.0% (9th highest)
> Poverty rate: 19.2% (6th highest)
> Pct. aged 65 and over: 11.5% (4th lowest)

Last year 43.8% of unemployed workers in the U.S. did not have health insurance, while in Georgia, 53.6% of the unemployed were uninsured. However, Governor Nathan Deal, an outspoken opponent of the Affordable Care Act, has elected not to expand Medicaid or set up a state-controlled insurance exchange. The state’s Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens drew scrutiny last month when he stated that Georgia was doing “everything in [its] power to be an obstructionist.”

4. Florida
> Pct. without health insurance (2012): 20.1%
> Unemployment rate (2012): 8.6% (12th highest)
> Poverty rate: 17.1% (17th highest)
> Pct. aged 65 and over: 18.2% (the highest)

Florida is one of just four states where at least a fifth of the population didn’t have health insurance in 2012. While the state’s relatively large elderly population means that a disproportionately high percentage of Floridians were covered under Medicare, the younger adult population were much more likely to be without insurance than other states. As many as 28.8% of those between the ages of 18 and 64 didn’t have health coverage compared to just over 20% nationally. The New York Times reported that, in defiance of the Affordable Care Act, Florida’s government has been reluctant to offer its residents information on the the federal insurance exchanges that will allow residents to shop for the most affordable plan.

3. Alaska
> Pct. without health insurance (2012): 20.5%
> Unemployment rate (2012): 7% (22nd lowest)
> Poverty rate: 10.1% (2nd lowest)
> Pct. aged 65 and over: 8.5% (the lowest)

Although Alaska is one of the nation’s wealthiest states, with a median income of $67,712 in 2012, it also has a relatively large number of residents who were uninsured. This may be due in part to the seasonal nature of much of Alaska’s workforce — such workers often either do not receive insurance from their employers or do not keep their insurance after their work has ended. Last year, 21.4% of workers who were employed did not have health insurance, one of the highest rates in the nation. But for Alaskans hoping to obtain health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, premiums in the state will be higher than anywhere else in the nation, exempting for Wyoming.

2. Nevada
> Pct. without health insurance (2012): 22.2%
> Unemployment rate (2012): 11.1% (the highest)
> Poverty rate: 16.4% (19th highest)
> Pct. aged 65 and over: 13.0% (11th lowest)

Nevada minors were the most likely in the country to lack health insurance. An estimated 16.6% were not covered, more than double the national rate. In general, the likelihood of not having health insurance is much higher for those without a high school diploma. In Nevada, due to a poor graduation rate, the chances of this happening are significantly worse. Nevada also has the largest portion in the nation of households earning under $25,000 per year without health insurance. Under the Affordable Care Act in Nevada, those earning under 400% of the national poverty rate will be eligible for tax credits. Nevada will likely be one state relying on this provision the most. The state also has the highest proportion of residents employed in service jobs, which are less likely than many jobs to provide health benefits.

1. Texas
> Pct. without health insurance (2012): 22.5%
> Unemployment rate (2012): 6.8% (17th lowest)
> Poverty rate: 17.9% (11th highest)
> Pct. aged 65 and over: 10.9% (3rd lowest)

Not only did Texas have the highest rate of uninsured people in 2012, but the state also had among the highest portion of uninsured children, elderly, and unemployed people. Additionally, over 30% of adults under 65 were uninsured in the state. Texas lawmakers have been opposed to the Affordable Care Act, with Texas Senator Ted Cruz speaking for over 20 hours in an attempt to block the law from taking effect.

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