Practice Economics

Nearly 30 million uninsured Americans to gain health coverage by 2016


Fifty-six percent of uninsured patients in the United States are now eligible for financial assistance with insurance coverage through Medicaid, the Children\'s Health Insurance Program, or subsidized private coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to a report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Urban Institute.

The analysis estimates the ACA ultimately will lead to more than 27 million previously uninsured patients gaining health insurance coverage by 2016.

In states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility under the ACA, 68% of the uninsured have become eligible for assistance, compared with 44% of newly eligible patients in states that have not expanded Medicaid.

Significant state variation remains in the number of uninsured newly eligible for financial assistance. West Virginia tops the list with a high of 83% of the formerly uninsured now covered, while Texas has the lowest number of newly insured at 40%.

"Financial assistance is a big factor in whether or not an individual obtains health insurance under the Affordable Care Act," said Katherine Hempstead, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation team director and senior program officer. "Early data suggest that the [uninsured] rate in states that expanded Medicaid has dropped more sharply than in states that decided against the expansion."

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