- Nationwide, the number of uninsured people has decreased by 35% (12.6 million people) from 2008 to 2017.
- Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act lead to an increase of 111% (15.2 million people) in the number of people enrolled in Medicaid from 2008 to 2017.
- West Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan saw greatest improvement in uninsured rates from 2008 to 2017.
- South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming saw least improvement in uninsured rates from 2008 to 2017.
- 35 states have adopted Medicaid expansion, leading to the improved uninsured rates across the nation.
With health insurance open enrollment season on the horizon, we here at QuoteWizard wanted to see which states have made the biggest improvements in reducing uninsured rates. Since the inception of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010, there have been major improvements to the uninsured rate. From 2008 to 2017 there was a 35% decrease in uninsured Americans, totalling 12.6 million people nationally. The good news is all 50 states saw some level of improvement to their uninsured rates. However, not all states experienced significant increases as some did.
The driving force behind the drop in uninsured rates is likely the expansion of Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. ACA laws increased eligibility for adults with incomes below 138% of the federal poverty level to be covered under Medicaid. While the ACA increased eligibility for Medicaid, many states have not adopted Medicaid expansion. Currently there are 35 states that have adopted some form of Medicaid expansion. It’s those states who have adopted Medicaid expansion that saw the greatest decrease in uninsured people from 2008 to 2017. Among the top 20 states to decrease their rate of uninsured from 2008 to 2017, 19 have adopted Medicaid expansion.
Medicaid vs Uninsured trends 2008 to 2017
To rank states with the largest decrease in uninsured people, we analyzed Kaiser Family Foundation data on health insurance coverage of adults from 2008 to 2017. States are ranked from 1 being the greatest decrease of uninsured to 50 being the lowest decrease of uninsured. We also included the rate of Medicaid increases over the same time period to reflect how the expansion of Medicaid impacts uninsured rates.
|Rank (decrease)||State||2008 uninsured||2017 uninsured||% decrease of uninsured||% Medicaid increase|
QuoteWizard analyzed health insurance coverage rates in all 50 states to see which states had the greatest improvement in uninsured rates. To get health insurance improvement rates, we compared uninsured rates from 2008 versus 2017 to find which states saw the greatest rate of improvement. States ranked 1 to 50, with 1 being the greatest improvement in uninsured rates and 50 being the lowest rate of improvement. We paired Medicaid increases from 2008 versus 2017 to show a correlation between states that participated in Medicaid expansion and those that saw a greater improvement in uninsured rates.