Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Number of Uninsured Kansans in 2013 Unchanged from 2012

By Cheng-Chung Huang, M.P.H. and Sheena Smith, M.P.P.
Public Health via Kansas Health Institute 

KANSAS CITY, KAN. ---- The latest numbers from the U.S. Census Bureau show an estimated 348,097 (12.3 percent) Kansans didn’t have health insurance in 2013, which is not a significant change from 2012 (12.6 percent). Kansas had lower uninsured rates across all age groups compared to national rates for 2013.

The Kansas Health Institute has developed a fact sheet that details this information.

The 2013 American Community Survey also found that:
  • Fewer Kansans (56.7 percent) obtained health insurance through their employers in 2013, a significant decline since 2009 (59.6 percent). Over the same time period, public coverage increased from 24.8 percent in 2009 to 27.7 percent in 2013.

  • Young Kansas adults (age 19-25) are more likely to be uninsured than any other age group, however, the percentage of young adults in Kansas without insurance has decreased significantly from 26.8 percent in 2009 to 21.4 percent in 2013. This is at least partly due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which allows young adults up to age 26 to stay on their parent’s health insurance policies.
  • 44,130 (6.1 percent) Kansas children were uninsured, lower than the national rate of 7.1 percent.
  • Hispanic Kansans were almost three times more likely than non-Hispanic Kansans to be uninsured (27.8 percent versus 10.3 percent).
  • Non-White Kansans were more likely than White Kansans to be uninsured: (White (11.3 percent), Black/African American (18.0 percent), American Indian/Alaska Native (19.4 percent), and Asian/Native Hawaiian (15.1 percent).

Among the nearly 350,000 Kansans without health insurance in 2013, almost half (43.9 percent) could be eligible for Medicaid if the program is expanded in the state.

Expansion would cover adults earning less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level (or $32,913 per year for a family of four).

“This report from the U.S. Census Bureau contains 2013 data and, therefore, covers the year before health insurance was available through the marketplaces created by the ACA,” said Scott Brunner, KHI senior analyst and strategy team leader. “The 2013 findings establish an important baseline to help determine how effective the ACA marketplace and government subsidies are in providing affordable coverage and reducing the number of uninsured Kansans.”