Veterans and Their Family Members Gain Coverage Under the ACA, but Opportunities for More Progress Remain

More than half a million United States veterans are projected to be uninsured in 2017.

The Issue

Uninsurance rates for veterans and their family members sharply declined between 2013 and 2015, but coverage gaps remain.

Key Findings

  • Between 2013 and 2015, the uninsurance rate for nonelderly veterans fell by 42 percent. Over this time, veterans also experienced fewer unmet health needs, suggesting that increased coverage translated into improved access to care.

  • Declines in veteran uninsurance were larger in the 26 states that had expanded Medicaid under the ACA by 2014 than in nonexpansion states.

  • If Medicaid expansion decisions do not change between now and 2017, it is projected that approximately 604,000 veterans will be uninsured in 2017.

Conclusion

Veteran uninsurance rates dropped from 2013 to 2015, but rates among veterans and their family members remained higher in nonexpansion states than in expansion states. By 2017 it is projected that 70 percent of veterans will be eligible for Medicaid or subsidized marketplace coverage in expansion states compared to 39 percent in nonexpansion states.

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