How Obamacare Increased Insurance Coverage in Every State

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41. Rhode Island
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -7.7
> Expanded Medicaid?:
yes
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 11.1% (15th lowest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 3.4% (3rd lowest)

In 2012, 114,865 Rhode Island residents did not have health insurance, or 11.1% of the state’s population. As of March 2015, since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, that percentage had dropped by 7.7 percentage points, a larger drop than the national decline of 5.7 percentage points over that period.

Governor Lincoln Chafee established Rhode Island’s insurance exchange program through an executive order. Rhode Island was one of eight states that took total control of the ACA implementation and Medicaid expansion. The state received nearly $140 million in federal grants, $35.6 million of which came from an Early Innovator grant.

42. Florida
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -7.9
> Expanded Medicaid?:
no
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 20.1% (4th highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 12.2% (9th highest)

In 2012, before the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period began, 3.8 million Florida residents, or 20.1% of the population, did not have health insurance. Since then, the state’s uninsured rate dropped by 7.9 percentage points, well above the nationwide drop of 5.7 percentage points over that period.

Like most states in the Southeast, Florida did not expand Medicaid. Though Florida had one of the 10 largest percentage point decreases in its uninsured population, the HHS estimates that another 848,000 low-income Floridians would have been covered had the state’s government decided to take advantage of the federal funds and expand Medicaid.

While average premiums were not significantly higher in states that did not expand Medicaid, the average premium for a 40-year-old, nonsmoking man was $303, the sixth highest in the country.

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43. West Virginia
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -8.2
> Expanded Medicaid?:
yes
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 14.4% (21st highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 6.2% (16th lowest)

After open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began on October 1, 2013, health insurance coverage in every state increased. The percentage of the population without health insurance decreased from 14.4% in 2012 to 6.2% as of March this year, the eighth largest decrease nationwide. Uninsured rates decreased the most among low-income Americans, and this was especially the case in West Virginia, where 18.5% of people lived in poverty, the 10th highest rate. More than 170,000 state residents received health insurance under the Medicaid expansion, making up the vast majority of the increase. The state did not develop its own health care exchange. Uninsured West Virginia residents need to go to the federal government’s site healthcare.gov to sign up for insurance.

44. Nevada
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -8.2
> Expanded Medicaid?:
yes
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 22.2% (2nd highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 14.0% (4th highest)

More than 600,000 Nevada residents did not have health insurance in 2012, or 22.2% of the state’s population. At the time, this was the second highest rate nationwide after Texas. As of March 2015, since the Affordable Care Act was implemented, that percentage had dropped by 8.2 percentage points, a more significant drop than the 5.7 percentage point decrease nationwide. Despite the drop, however, 14% of Nevada’s residents still do not have health insurance. Low-income residents were by far the largest group to benefit from the ACA. As a result of the Medicaid expansion, more than 200,000 people in the state now have health insurance.

Nevada’s state insurance marketplace, Nevada Health Link, experienced serious technical glitches upon its rollout. Despite the initial problems, the ACA has been beneficial, not only in terms of getting more Nevadans insured, but also in significant savings for seniors receiving Medicare benefits. According to the federal government, Nevada seniors have saved $87.7 million since the ACA’s implementation.

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45. Colorado
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -8.3
> Expanded Medicaid?:
yes
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 14.7% (19th highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 6.4% (19th lowest)

An estimated 14.7% of Colorado residents did not have health insurance in 2012. By March this year, the percentage had fallen by 8.3 percentage points to 6.4%, the sixth largest increase nationwide. The state’s recent expansion of Medicaid was by far the largest contributor to the decline in the rate of the uninsured state population. As of January, more than 400,000 low-income Colorado residents gained health insurance under the expansion.

Colorado was one of eight states to both implement its own state run exchange and expand Medicaid. The state received approximately $180 million in federal grants to implement its exchange program.