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Medicaid pays for more emergency room visits than any other insurance program, according to recent data from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The health insurance program for the poor covered about one-third of all ER visits in 2014 — roughly 44 million of them, up from 26.5 million in 2006.

The big picture: Medicaid has been paying for more ER visits over time largely because the Affordable Care Act expanded the program. People in low-paying jobs that don't offer health benefits also rely on Medicaid coverage.

Expand chart
Data: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality; Chart: Chris Canipe / Axios

Here's how ER visits have changed for other forms of health insurance:

  • Because the ACA expanded Medicaid and overhauled the individual insurance market, the number of uninsured ER trips declined by about 9% from 2006 to 2014.
  • ER visits covered by Medicare have increased 29% since 2006, while job-based health insurance has covered fewer visits. As baby boomers get older and retire, they're leaving employer-based coverage and aging into Medicare.

Don't forget: People with health insurance are still susceptible to receiving costly surprise ER bills, usually through no fault of their own.

Correction: A previous version of this chart incorrectly labeled the most recent data point as 2016 rather than 2014.

Go deeper

"Atmospheric river" swings Northern California from drought to flood

Satellite view of the bomb cyclone swirling off the coast of the Pacific Northwest and the atmospheric river affecting California on Oct. 24. Photo: CIRA/RAMMB

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are delivering historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest.

Why it matters: The atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, was causing Northern California to whiplash from drought to flood, as it slowly moved south overnight. It's triggered widespread power outages, flooding and mudslides.

In photos: Drought-ravaged California lashed by major storm

Workers try to divert water into drains as rain pours down on Oct. 24 in Marin City, California. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

A major storm system was pummeling Northern California and parts of the Pacific Northwest with heavy rains overnight.

The big picture: "Atmospheric river" storms, associated with a record-strong "bomb cyclone" offshore from the Pacific Northwest, have brought flooding and mudslides to parts of California that were razed by recent wildfires and in severe drought. It's also caused widespread power outages in California and Washington state.

4 hours ago - World

Sudan's military places civilian prime minister under house arrest

Sudanese Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok during a 2020 news conference in Khartoum, Sudan. Photo: Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Sudan's civilian Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok was put under house arrest and several other ministers were also detained Monday in what appears to be a military coup in the country, per local reports.

Why it matters: The arrests of the civilian faction in the Sudanese government came a day after U.S. envoy Jeffrey Feltman met with the head of the military faction of the Sudanese government General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan and warned him against staging a coup.