Kansas uninsured rate unchanged at 13.1 percent

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U.S. Census Bureau data released Tuesday showed that the Kansas uninsured rate remained unchanged at 13.1 percent.  This means that approximately 369,000 Kansans were uninsured in 2011/2012.  Of that number, approximately 60,000 were uninsured Kansas children.

The national uninsured rate dropped slightly from 15.7 percent in 2011, to 15.4 percent in 2012.  An estimated 47,951,000 Americans did not have insurance in 2012, a slight drop from 2011.  These data were provided by the Current Population Survey (CPS).

Readers may not realize, however, that an entirely different set of numbers on insurance coverage will be released tomorrow.  The second data release will come from the American Community Survey (ACS).  The ACS provides a better picture of the uninsured within specific states and many communities.

Data from both surveys will be scrutinized and tracked closely over the next few years as the coverage expansion portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) take effect.  One item of particular interest will be the number of young adults (ages 19-25) who gain coverage through their parents’ insurance – something specifically allowed under the ACA.  Another important question will be whether there is a substantial reduction in the overall number of Americans without health insurance – certainly an expectation in 2014 when insurance marketplaces are launched in all 50 states and Medicaid coverage is expanded in more than half (although Kansas has not expanded Medicaid at this time).

The Kansas Health Institute (KHI) is prepared to help you understand these numbers and what they mean for Kansans.  Look for additional information from KHI in the coming weeks as additional data are released.  Check out our Q&A about these data sources.

The Kansas Health Institute is an independent, nonprofit health policy and research organization based in Topeka, Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multi-year grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, the Kansas Health Institute conducts research and policy analysis on issues that affect the health of Kansans.

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