Over 1 in 10 Rhode Islanders under 65 Lacked Health Insurance in 2011
Saturday, September 22, 2012
The share of Rhode Islanders under age 65 without health insurance remained essentially the same last year, according to Census Bureau figures released today. In Rhode Island, 120,500 (13.6%) of non-elderly individuals did not have health insurance in 2010/2011. This was the highest rate of uninsurance in New England.
“We know that uninsured individuals have a harder time accessing care, have poorer health outcomes and a harder time paying for basic necessities because of medical bills,” said Linda Katz, Policy Director at the Economic Progress Institute. “We can be proud that in our state there is strong public support for using the opportunities provided by the Affordable Care Act to provide health coverage and access to health care to more of our neighbors.”
The data released today also show that 557,300 (63 percent) of Rhode Islanders had coverage through their jobs in 2010-2011 and 171,200 (19.3 percent) were insured through the Medicaid Program. The majority of these Medicaid enrollees are parents and children who are covered through the RIte Care/RIte Share program. With Rhode Island’s double-digit unemployment rate continuing to be one of the highest in the nation, this program plays a vital role in ensuring access to quality health care for families.
Beginning in January 2014, with the full implementation of the Affordable Care Act, many more Rhode Islanders will have access to affordable health insurance. Single adults will be eligible for Medicaid coverage if income is less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level ($20,000/year). Rhode Island is on track to expand coverage to this needy population, with full funding from the federal government in the first years of coverage. Individuals and families who are ineligible for Medicaid and have income less than four times the federal poverty level will have access to subsidies to help purchase private health insurance through the newly created Health Insurance Exchange.
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