The percentage of Americans without health insurance hit an all-time low in 2016, mostly due to the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), better known as Obamacare.
Despite the substantial decrease in the national rate, there is a substantial variance in the uninsurance rate between states.
According to new data from Gallup-Healthways, the highest uninsured rate is in Texas, where 20.5% of people do not have coverage. This is also the ninth straight year that Texas has had the highest uninsured rate according to the survey.
Massachusetts and Hawaii, which notably had expansive health coverage laws prior to the ACA, are tied for the lowest percentage of people without coverage at 3.2% each.
Additionally, the survey looked at which states had the biggest decreases in the uninsured rate between 2013 and 2016.
All 10 of the biggest drops came in states that expanded Medicaid via the Affordable Care Act, led by Kentucky. Right behind Kentucky’s 12.6 percentage point drop was Arkansas with a 12.3 pp fall and West Virginia with a 11.5 pp drop.
On the other end, those states that did not see a dramatic reduction in their uninsured population share one of two traits,according to the survey.
“Of the 11 states with the smallest reductions, six have not expanded Medicaid,” said the Gallup-Healthways survey release. “Among these 11, the states that have expanded Medicaid — Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, Delaware and Minnesota — were already among the states with the lowest uninsured rates in the nation in 2013 and therefore had the least room for improvement.”
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