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Millions Eligible for Health Insurance Remain Uninsured

More than 15 million Americans who are currently entitled to free or subsidized health insurance are currently uninsured.

Among them are 11 million who are eligible for Medicaid but have not applied for benefits and 4.2 million who could afford insurance with the help of federal premium subsidies and either have decided not to take advantage of those subsidies or are unaware of the availability of such subsidies.

In addition, another two million people would be eligible for Medicaid if their states expanded their Medicaid program as authorized by the Affordable Care Act.

In light of such figures, it is not entirely surprising that the uninsured rate, according to the census bureau, rose last year for the first time since implementation of the Affordable Care Act. That uninsured rate, 15 percent at the time the law was adopted in 2010, fell to 7.9 percent in 2017 but rose to 8.5 percent in 2018. The uninsured rate has especially risen among Hispanics and the foreign born.

Another possible reason for the rise in the number of uninsured Americans: the federal government has greatly reduced its outreach effort to inform people about the various options they have for obtaining insurance.

In Pennsylvania, a state with a population of 12.8 million, the number of uninsured people increased just 700 from 2017 to 2018.  699,000 residents of the state are currently uninsured.

Learn more about who is uninsured and why the uninsured rate has risen in the Washington Post story “Millions of Americans aren’t getting health insurance, even though they’re eligible for free or affordable plans.”

Filed in Affordable Care Act.

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