Health & Human Services

The Only State to See a Significant Increase in Its Uninsured Rate

August 11, 2014

Kansas is the only state in the nation to see its uninsured rate increase significantly in the past year, a new Gallup poll shows, while states that adopted optional parts of the Affordable Care Act have seen the largest declines.

Kansas, which has resisted expanding its Medicaid program through the health care law, saw its rate of uninsured adults rise from 12.5 percent last year to 17.6 percent during the first half of this year. That puts the state’s uninsured rate at seventh-highest in the nation, according to data collected as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

“It’s eye-popping. Kansas really sticks out,” Dan Witters, research director for the Well-Being Index, told The Kansas City Star (http://bit.ly/1oH9Xzl).

Kansas was the only state with a statistically significant increase in the percentage of uninsured residents, Witters told the newspaper, as uninsured rates in other states declined or remained unchanged.

The Kansas number “appears to be an anomaly that needs more review,” state Insurance Commissioner Sandy Praeger said. “To have the uninsured jump that much in one year would be unprecedented,” as the state has had an uninsured rate of 12 percent to 13 percent for many years.

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