Two new studies show an alarming uptick in uninsured rates.
Telephone interviews conducted by Gallup from January to December 2017 asked working aged adults the question, “Do you have health insurance coverage?” Data from those interviews show that in 2017, uninsured rates rose in 17 states, including Florida. Florida’s rate jumped to 16 percent– up from 14.6 percent in 2016.
More recent telephone interviews conducted through the Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Tracking Survey, from February to March 2018, show that 4 million adults nationwide lost coverage in 2016. The uninsured rate among lower income adults rose from 20.9 to 25.7 percent in March 2018. Uninsured rates in the South were significantly higher than in the rest of the country.
Both studies find that these trends are likely linked to federal legislative and administrative efforts to weaken the Affordable Care Act (ACA), actions which are leaving consumers confused and uncertain about the ACA’s future.
Between 2013 — a year before the ACA took effect — and 2016, the number of uninsured has dropped steadily in Florida, from 20 to 12.5 percent. It’s extremely disheartening to see a reversal of this progress.
Taking this step backward translates to greater delays in treatment, increased emergency care, higher rates of premature death and more uncompensated care.