As in past years, CSG-ERC states enjoyed lower than average uninsured rates in the first nine months of 2016, according to the CDC’s latest estimates. While not all states are individually reflected in the early survey, the seven reported ERC states varied between 3.1% (MA) to 8.2% (NJ) of residents uninsured compared to 8.8% of all Americans. Northeastern states had the lowest uninsured rate in the US (among four regions), the second highest rate of public coverage (behind the West) and the second highest rate of private coverage (behind the Midwest). 400,000 fewer Americans were without coverage last year, the percentage of Americans with high deductible plans jumped significantly but the percent with coverage in the ACA health insurance exchanges did not change much in the 2016 survey compared to the year before. US trends over the last twenty years show a steady increase in public coverage starting in 1999, a sharp drop in the uninsured rate, and an oscillating private coverage rate. Not surprisingly, since 2010, gains in coverage have been greatest among low income and minority Americans, but they still remain at far higher risk of uninsurance. Also not surprisingly, from 2013 through 2016 uninsured rates in states that elected to expand Medicaid have fallen 9.1% compared with a drop of 5.2% in non-expansion states.
It’s important to note that these are very early numbers and the final state-specific uninsured rates sometimes vary considerably from the final numbers released later in the year.