A new report highlights the highest uninsured rates by state. Is your state among the top 10?
Having health insurance is vital to one’s well-being, whether we're talking about physical or financial well-being.
“Health insurance ensures that people have access to the care they need and can reduce out-of-pocket expenses dramatically,” says WalletHub analyst Jill Gonzalez.
According to the CDC’s National Health Interview Survey, the national uninsured rate is at a record low of 8.6%, which translates to about 27.3 million people who lacked medical insurance when they were asked about it between January and March 2016.
“This decrease is very important since medical expenses represent the leading cause of personal bankruptcy. Thus, health insurance will certainly relieve the financial pressure for everyone involved, including managed care executives,” Gonzalez says.
Personal-finance website WalletHub compared the rates for the 50 states, as well as 548 U.S. cities, then broke down the figures by age, race/ethnicity and income level.
Here are the top 10 states with the highest uninsured rates, according to the report.
It has the third highest rate of uninsured high-income households at 6.32% and the fifth highest rate of uninsured white population at almost 10%. However, it also has the third lowest uninsured rate of black population at nearly 6%, according to WalletHub.
Montana's overall uninsured rate is 11.65%, according to the analysis.
“It’s struggling when it comes to the uninsured rate for children, ranking 45th with 7.60%,” Gonzalez says. “Also, it ranked 49th for the black population uninsured rate at 17.41%.”
Louisiana has the eighth highest uninsured rate at almost 12%, with high uninsured rates when it comes to the white (9.33%), black (14.54%) and Hispanic (26.46%) populations. Low-income households have very high uninsured rates at 17.32%, ranking 42nd, according to WalletHub.
“Nevada's uninsured rate is quite high at 12.28%-even high-income households have a high uninsured rate at 5.75%, ranking 45th,” says Gonzalez. “And, in terms of age, both children and adults have high uninsured rates, 7.56% and 13.72% respectively.”
Mississippi ranked 45th overall with an uninsured rate of 12.69%, having the highest uninsured white population at almost 11% and the highest uninsured Hispanic population at a high 37.57%.
Florida’s uninsured rate is 13.33%, with almost 15% of adults uninsured. In terms of race, Florida has the fifth highest uninsured rate of black population at 16.20%, according to the analysis.
According to WalletHub, Georgia is the state with the fourth highest uninsured rate at 13.85%, having the third highest uninsured rate among adults at 16.24% and among white population at 10.12%. It also has the second highest uninsured rate among Hispanics at 34.36%.
Oklahoma ranked 48th overall with an uninsured rate of 13.90%.
“The state has high rates throughout all the categories, from 16.07% uninsured rate for adults to 19.74% for low-income households,” Gonzalez says.
Alaska’s uninsured rate is the second highest in the nation at 14.86%. It has the highest uninsured rate among children at 10.58% and the second highest rate among adults at 16.37%. It also has the highest uninsured rate for high-income households at 8.86%, according to the analysis.
Texas, the Lone Star State, has the highest uninsured rate in the country at 17.10%. Nearly 10% of children lack health insurance coverage, and the highest number of adults in country don’t have it, almost 20%.
“Low-income households in Texas have the highest uninsured rate for that subset as well, at just above 25%,” according to Gonzalez.