Report: Nearly 5.2M U.S. Residents To Remain Uninsured in 2014
An estimated 27% of uninsured U.S. residents, or roughly 5.2 million people, will not be eligible for the federal subsidies available through the Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges or for Medicaid coverage next year, leaving them with limited options for coverage, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation report released Wednesday, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules" reports.
Researchers note that many of these individuals live in states that have declined to expand their Medicaid programs and are projected to have incomes that will be too high to qualify for coverage through the existing programs. In addition, their projected incomes would fall short of the eligibility threshold for subsidies to purchase coverage in the marketplaces.
For the report, researchers analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from 2012 and 2013 and states' Medicaid eligibility rules for 2014.
According to the analysis, nearly half of the uninsured individuals who are projected to fall into the so-called coverage gap live in Florida, Georgia and Texas. In addition, the report finds that more than one-third of the uninsured populations in three other states -- Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi -- will fall into the coverage gap (Galewitz, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 10/16).
According to the report, most of the individuals expected to fall into the coverage gap "have very limited insurance coverage options and are likely to remain uninsured," primarily because they will be unable to afford the plans on the exchanges without the subsidies.
Since most of the individuals likely will remain uninsured, the researchers said they could "face barriers to needed health services or, if they do require medical care, potentially serious financial consequences." The researchers also warned that "the safety net of clinics and hospitals that has traditionally served the uninsured population will continue to be stretched in these states" (CQ HealthBeat, 10/16).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.