Data on demographics; health coverage, access, and utilization; and health status by race and ethnicity provides insight into the status of health disparities and changes since implementation of the ACA.
This issue brief describes how coverage has changed in recent years, examines the characteristics of the uninsured population, and summarizes the access and financial implications of not having coverage.
Before the pandemic, the uninsured rate had been increasing for several years — despite an improving economy. The latest uninsured data from the Census Bureau shows the number of uninsured people grew to 29.2 million (or 10.8%) in 2019. It’s likely gone up since then.
About 4.7 million uninsured adults could gain eligibility for Medicaid by 2021 if the 14 remaining non-expansion states were to expand Medicaid. That includes 2.8 million adults who were uninsured prior to the pandemic and would fall in the “coverage gap,” as well as 1.9 million more who are at risk of losing nsurance due to job loss in the pandemic and would end up in the coverage gap.
With health centers playing an important role in the response to the coronavirus pandemic, findings from the KFF/Geiger Gibson 2019 Community Health Center Survey provide important information on health centers’ financial situation and their experiences in a changing policy environment.
Nearly 28 million people in the U.S. lack health insurance. They will likely face unique barriers accessing COVID-19 testing and treatment. And those who contract COVID-19 and need medical care will likely receive large medical bills, even if they have low incomes and are unable to pay.
The Department of Health and Human Services program to pay for care for uninsured Americans with COVID-19 has been in place for about five months, but limits on who is eligible may be leaving some patients with large bills.
More than 7 in 10 community health centers saw an increase in patients with opioid use disorder from 2018 to 2019. Evidence suggests overdoses are rising during the pandemic. Health centers have boosted services and are major source of medication-assisted treatment, but still face challenges meeting the demand.
Percent of adults who reported being without insurance in 2017.
Percent of uninsured adults who report delaying and/or going without medical care due to costs, 2017.
Percent of uninsured adults who worry about paying medical bills for normal care, 2017.
Percent of all insured adults who report delaying and/or going without medical care due to costs, 2017.