Who Are the Uninsured Adults?

Last week we posted a piece about the shrinking pool of uninsured adults, based on a Health Affairs study showing that the rate of adults without insurance dropped from 16 percent to 7 percent in states that took the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion.

Hidden at the end of this Health Affairs study, is a look at the remaining uninsured adults as of the first quarter of 2017. More than 60 percent of those adults live in states that didn’t accept the Medicaid expansion. and more than 65 percent of them have household incomes at or below 138 percent of the federal poverty level.

Of all the uninsured, about two-thirds reported that the cost of insurance was a barrier to getting covered. This was also true of young adults—only 13 percent reported being uninsured because they did not want coverage. These data reinforce that the potential to reduce the number of uninsured adults is much greater in non-expansion states than in expansion states.

uninsured adults

Karina Wagnerman
Karina Wagnerman is a Senior Health Policy Analyst at the Center for Children and Families