New Census data shows growing number of uninsured Americans, less so in Nebraska

By Claire Johnson, Economic Justice Intern

As open enrollment for the 2020 benefit year approaches (November 1 – December 15, 2019), new numbers were released describing the nation’s uninsured. According to new Census data, the number of uninsured Americans has increased from 7.9% to 8.5% nationwide. This is an increase of about 1.9 million individuals without coverage in the last year.

Uninsured children stand out in the data. Specifically, states that did not expand Medicaid had twice the rate of uninsured children than states with Medicaid expansion. Likewise, children whose families earn less than 100% of the Federal Poverty Level were among the highest percentage of uninsured children in 2018. Individually, the data found that Hispanic children were more likely to be uninsured than children of any other group.

In Nebraska, census data showed the number of uninsured individuals has remained unchanged from the year before at 8.3%. However, Nebraska’s insured rates continues to rank in the lower half amongst states, coming in 30th in 2018. Medicaid expansion, approved by voters in November of 2018 and projected to begin in October of 2020 according to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, will likely improve that number.

If you have questions about open enrollment or health insurance related to the Marketplace or Medicaid, please reach out to one of Nebraska’s enrollment assisters that can be found on our locator at Enroll-NE.org/local. They offer unbiased and free assistance applying for coverage and choosing options.

Open enrollment for 2020 begins Friday, November 1 and runs through Sunday, December 15, 2019.

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