Almost 2M more Americans uninsured in 2018, census says

THE UNINSURED rate in the U.S. increased from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.5% in 2018 / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/ANDREW HARRER
THE UNINSURED rate in the U.S. increased from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.5% in 2018 / BLOOMBERG NEWS FILE PHOTO/ANDREW HARRER

NEW YORK – The number of Americans without health insurance increased by almost 2 million people in 2018, according to new data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Tuesday.

The increase in the rate of uninsured, from 7.9% in 2017 to 8.5% last year, is particularly remarkable given the falling unemployment rate during that period, since most Americans get coverage through work. It’s the first meaningful uptick in the number of people without health coverage since the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act took effect in 2014.

While the economy grew in 2018, individual health insurance premiums continued to increase, states tightened eligibility requirements for public safety-net coverage, and President Donald Trump carried on in his attempt to undo many of the health reforms passed by his predecessor.

The Census report indicates that the biggest decrease in coverage in 2018 came among those covered by Medicaid, the state-federal health program for low-income Americans. Almost two million fewer people were covered by Medicaid in 2018 than in the prior year.

- Advertisement -

Rhode Island’s uninsured rate was 4.2% in 2018 and declined to 3.7% in 2019.

John Tozzi is a reporter for Bloomberg News.

Purchase NowWant to share this story? Click Here to purchase a link that allows anyone to read it on any device whether or not they are a subscriber.