A state-by-state look at uninsured rates under healthcare reform

With more than 25 million uninsured people eligible for health coverage assistance programs under the Affordable Care Act, a new report from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) looked at how those numbers would play out across states.

The report examined how many uninsured residents in each state would be eligible for coverage through Medicaid, the Children's Health Insurance Program and the health insurance exchanges, as well as the state-by-state decrease in the uninsured population under healthcare reform.

The researchers took into account each state's decision on Medicaid expansion as of September, noting 24 states and the District of Columbia committed to expanding their programs and four states are still in debate.

Among states forgoing Medicaid expansion, researchers found 34 percent of uninsured would meet the criteria for financial assistance in Texas, compared to a high of 53 percent in Maine. The share of uninsured eligible for assistance in states with Medicaid expansion ranged from 59 percent in New Jersey to 81 percent in Kentucky, Michigan and West Virginia, according to the report.

Under healthcare reform, the uninsured population in Medicaid opt-out states would fall by between 28 percent in Alabama and Wyoming and 38 percent in New Hampshire and Montana. The report predicted smaller drops in Massachusetts, Vermont and New York, as they already lowered their number of uninsured residents with expanded Medicaid eligibility.

The report also examined how each state would fare with or without Medicaid expansion. If Mississippi forgoes expansion, the state would see 36 percent of its uninsured eligible for assistance and a 29 percent drop in the number of uninsured individuals. With Medicaid expansion, 80 percent of uninsured Mississippians would be eligible for assistance and the uninsured population would fall by 54 percent.

A new report by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured found states can expect a big spike in Medicaid enrollment and spending, even in those states that have refused to expand the state-federal health insurance program, FierceHealthcare previously reported.

To learn more:
- here's the RWJF announcement and report