Health Insurance Coverage Declined for Nonelderly Americans Between 2016 and 2017, Primarily in States That Did Not Expand Medicaid

Health Insurance Coverage Declined for Nonelderly Americans Between 2016 and 2017, Primarily in States That Did Not Expand Medicaid

The steady gains in health insurance coverage seen after the Affordable Care Act went into effect in 2014 stalled in 2017, a report from the Urban Institute finds. According to the report, Health Insurance Coverage Declined for Nonelderly Americans Between 2016 and 2017, Primarily in States That Did Not Expand Medicaid (37 pages, PDF), the uninsurance rate for Americans under the age of 65 fell every year between 2013 and 2016 but rose slightly between 2016 and 2017, from 10 percent to 10.2 percent — meaning that 700,000 more Americans were uninsured. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the study found that the uptick in the uninsured rate was due largely to losses in Medicaid/CHIP and private nongroup coverage, and that losses were concentrated in the nineteen states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the Affordable Care Act by July 1, 2017. The increase in the uninsured rate in non-expansion states may reflect their greater exposure to changes in the availability and affordability of marketplace and private nongroup coverage, the report's authors note, as well as shorter open enrollment periods, the availability of short-term limited-duration policies, the loss of federal funds to support cost-sharing subsidies, and the repeal of the individual mandate.