Losses of Private Non-Group Health Insurance a Key Driver Behind 2017 Increase in Uninsurance

Pedestrians crossing the street within a city crosswalk.

A drop in private non-group coverage led to 700,000 more people uninsured in 2017.

The Issue

Despite a healthy economy and low unemployment, a new report shows the number of uninsured individuals aged 0 to 64 increased for the first time since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect.

Key Findings

Using Census Bureau data to calculate the changes, the analysis finds:

  • The number of uninsured individuals aged 0 to 64 increased from 10.0 percent in 2016 to 10.2 percent in 2017, an increase of 702,000 people.

  • The largest increases in the number of uninsured occurred in states that did not expand Medicaid eligibility under the ACA, including Texas (267,000 more uninsured), Florida (136,000), Georgia (68,000), and South Carolina (55,000).

Conclusion

Researchers point to the decline in private non-group coverage, such as that purchased on the health insurance marketplaces or directly from insurance companies, from 2016 to 2017 as one of the reasons for the increase in the uninsured rate.  

About the Urban Institute

The nonprofit Urban Institute is dedicated to elevating the debate on social and economic policy. For nearly five decades, Urban scholars have conducted research and offered evidence-based solutions that improve lives and strengthen communities across a rapidly urbanizing world. Their objective research helps expand opportunities for all, reduce hardship among the most vulnerable, and strengthen the effectiveness of the public sector. Visit the Urban Institute’s Health Policy Center for more information specific to its staff and its recent research.

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