Nov 1, 2021 - Health

Uninsured rate holds steady amid pandemic

Percentage change in Medicaid/CHIP enrollment, by state
Data: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; Map: Thomas Oide/Axios

The rate of uninsured Americans in 2020 remained relatively stable — between 8.6% and 9.7% — despite pandemic-related job losses and other economic challenges, according to data released by HHS.

The big picture: Biden administration officials released the numbers just ahead of the start of open enrollment in the federal health insurance marketplaces today as evidence of the Affordable Care Act's impact.

By the numbers: The data from the National Health Interview Survey estimates 31.6 million people under 65 were uninsured in the first six months of 2020, similar to the 33.2 million Americans uninsured in 2019.

Yes, but: Uninsured rates continue to be higher among Latinos (18.3%), Black Americans (10.4%), as well as people with incomes below the poverty level (17.2%).

  • Uninsured rates are also higher in states that haven't expanded Medicaid (17.6%).

What they're saying: "Our attention in this open enrollment — and throughout the year, but particularly this one — is continuing to reach the harder to reach populations ... making sure we're moving the needle in terms of the uninsured," CMS administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure told Axios.

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