Census: Big Increase in Number of Uninsured Washingtonians, Defying National Trends
New Census data shows that the number of Washingtonians without health coverage increased in the last year (2010-2011), despite national numbers showing a slight decline. One in six (948,000) Washingtonians under age 65 currently lack health insurance, up 141,000 from 2008-2009. Declines in employer-based coverage continue, while the share of people covered by public health insurance is rising (see figure).
Compared to pre-recession (2006-2007):
- The rate of uninsured Washingtonians under age 65 increased from 12.5 percent to 16.1 percent;
- Employers continue to drop coverage for employees, with just 58 percent of employers providing coverage compared to 67 percent prior to the recession;
- The share of Washingtonians covered by public health insurance continued to rise from 13 percent to 16 percent; and
- Apple Health for Kids –our state’s insurance program for children – continues to play an essential role for children’s health, covering over one in three kids (38 percent).
The new numbers bolster the case for full implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which is estimated to reduce the number of uninsured by 74 percent when it goes into effect in 2014. Check out our recent series on the benefits of the Affordable Care Act for Washington, and stay tuned for more detailed analysis on the ACA in the weeks to come.