September 12, 2017

For Third Consecutive Year, Florida Sees Significant Decline in Uninsured Rate; Coverage Still Out of Reach for Many

New 2016 data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Florida’s share of uninsured residents decreased by 38 percent since 2013

Lake Mary, FL – The U.S. Census today released new state data on uninsured rates, with Florida’s share of residents without health insurance coverage continuing its yearly decline from 2013. In 2016, 12.5 percent of Floridians were uninsured, down from 13.3 in 2015. In 2013, 20 percent of residents were without health insurance, a year before the major coverage provisions of the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, went into effect.

“We have the Affordable Care Act to thank, in large part, for the important gains in Florida’s rate of insured residents,” said Joseph F. Pennisi, executive director of the Florida Policy Institute (FPI). “This is all the more reason to continue improving on current law. Despite an encouraging stride, however, the work of making health coverage available for all Floridians is not yet complete. State policymakers should expand Medicaid, which would help more than 500,000 residents stuck in the coverage gap– folks whose income is too high to qualify for Medicaid, but too low to qualify for marketplace tax subsidies.”

Between 2015 and 2016 in Florida, the share of children with coverage increased from 92.6 to 93.4 percent. There are still 288,000 children who remain uninsured; this figure would more than double if the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is not renewed by the end of the month. It is critically important that children have access to quality and affordable health care under CHIP to grow up as healthy, productive adults.

“All of Florida is focused now on rebuilding in the devastating wake of Hurricane Irma,” added Pennisi. “Having health insurance coverage, especially in a state where a natural disaster can turn your world upside down, is absolutely essential.”

The Florida Policy Institute is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting widespread prosperity through timely, thoughtful and objective analysis of state policy issues affecting economic opportunity.

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