How Obamacare Increased Insurance Coverage in Every State

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36. Vermont
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -6.0 (approx.)
> Expanded Medicaid?:
yes
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 6.5% (2nd lowest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: <3% (the lowest)

Vermont’s rate of uninsured residents dropped from 6.5% in 2012 — second lowest at the time — to less than 3% this year, one of the lowest rates in the nation. Put another way, the number of uninsured residents went from 40,053 to roughly 3,000, a nation-leading 92.6% drop.

Many Vermonters would like even more comprehensive coverage. About four years ago, the state enacted a bill to put the nation’s first single-payer health care system into place. However, Governor Peter Shumlin recently rejected the proposed funding plan due to high projected costs.

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37. Arizona
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -6.0
> Expanded Medicaid?:
yes
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 17.6% (10th highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 11.6% (12th highest)

Arizona’s rate of uninsured residents dropped from 17.6% in 2012 — 10th highest at the time — to 11.6% this year. The improvement was slightly larger than the 5.7 percentage point decrease across the country.

Low-income individuals benefited the most from the ACA, and the improvement in Arizona would likely have been smaller if the state had not expanded Medicaid under the ACA. The state was one of 30 states to expand Medicaid. According to the U.S. government, 280,546 state residents have gained Medicaid coverage since open enrollment in the Health Insurance Marketplace began.

38. North Carolina
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -6.5
> Expanded Medicaid?:
no
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 16.6% (14th highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 10.1% (16th highest)

North Carolina has not expanded Medicaid under Obamacare. With one of the lowest median household incomes in the country of $45,906, expanding coverage would likely have a relatively large impact on the state. According to the HHS, 377,000 low-income North Carolina residents would gain health insurance if the state expands Medicaid benefits.

Three years ago, 16.6% of North Carolina residents did not have health insurance, the 14th highest rate of uninsured residents in the country. The rate improved during the open enrollment period, and now only 10.1% of North Carolina’s population is without insurance, the 16th highest share of all states. Despite having strong participation in the system, out-of-pocket costs for those opting in are still relatively high. The average premium for a 40-year-old, nonsmoking man was $270, 12th highest in the country.

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39. Idaho
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -6.6
> Expanded Medicaid?:
no
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 16.2% (16th highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 9.6% (17th highest)

Like just a dozen other states, Idaho opted to create its own health insurance marketplace to optimize coverage for its population. While several state-run health insurance exchanges experienced severe glitches, the improvement in the coverage rate was generally more successful in states that ran their own health insurance exchanges compared to states that rely on the federal government-run healthcare.gov. In 2012, before the Health Insurance Marketplace open enrollment period began, 254,743 Idaho residents, or 16.2% of the population, did not have health insurance. Since then, the state’s rate of uninsured residents dropped 6.6 percentage points. In contrast, the percentage of Americans without health insurance dropped 5.7 percentage points over that three year period.

40. Washington
> Ppt change in uninsured rate, 2012-2015: -7.7
> Expanded Medicaid?:
yes
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2012: 13.9% (23rd highest)
> Pct. population without health insurance, 2015: 6.2% (15th lowest)

An estimated 13.9% of Washington residents did not have health insurance in 2012, about a percentage point lower than the national share at that time. By March this year, the share had fallen by 7.7 percentage points, the 11th largest drop nationwide. The state’s expansion of Medicaid was by far the largest contributor to the decline in the rate of the uninsured population. As of January, more than 500,000 low-income Washington residents gained health insurance under the expansion. Washington manages its own exchange program, Washington Healthplanfinder.