Thursday, January 30, 2014

Kreidler: Nearly 14.5 percent of Washingtonians were uninsured in 2012

Today, we issued our fourth report on the number of Washingtonians who have no health insurance. At the end of 2012, some 990,000 people -- approximately 14.5 percent of the state's population -- were uninsured.

From 2010 through 2012:
  • The number of uninsured people in Washington grew by more than 44,000.
  • Four out of five people with individual insurance were underinsured, meaning they had plans that only paid for 25-40 percent of their medical costs.
  • Employer-sponsored coverage grew increasingly scarce.
  • Uncompensated care ballooned to nearly $1 billion per year.
The Affordable Care Act fully took effect on Jan. 1 and the uninsured rate is expected to drop to 6 percent by 2016. Early provisions of the Affordable Care Act prevented an estimated 100,000 people from joining the ranks of the uninsured prior to 2014.

“For many families who have struggled to get or keep health coverage, health reform couldn’t come soon enough,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “Regardless of how you feel about ‘Obamacare,’ it’s hard to argue that we’re not making progress in stopping the growth of uninsured or that the status quo was sustainable. Before health reform, we had hundreds of thousands of people living one bad diagnosis away from bankruptcy.”