Insurance coverage means healthy stats from healthy states

When it comes to the low number of people without health insurance, four states lead the nation: Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont and Minnesota.

The State Health Access Data Center this afternoon released the report on how states are doing in cutting down on the number of people without health care coverage.

Nationwide, 15.4 percent of people lacked health insurance coverage at any time during 2012, a statistically significant drop from 15.7 percent in 2011, the report said.

Children younger than 18  was the only age group to show a statistically significant improvement in coverage, from 9.4 percent uninsured in 2011 to 8.9 percent in 2012.

There was no significant change in the percentage of people covered by employer-provided health insurance.

The District of Columbia had the largest drop in uninsureds — 4.6 percentage points.

Minnesota’s drop was tiny, but there’s a good reason for that. The state already has a comparatively low rate — 8.7 percent — trailing only Massachusetts (3.8 percent), Vermont (7.8 percent) and Hawaii (7.8 percent), although Hawaii’s rate went up.

Texas leads the country in most number of people uninsured (24 percent), followed by Nevada (23 percent), New Mexico (21 percent) and Florida (21 percent).

Does this sort of thing make a difference? Of course.

In recent rankings of  health, all of the states with a low number of uninsured were at the top of the list. All of the states with a high number of uninsureds were nearer the bottom.

  • MrE85

    It will be interesting to see how a state like ours, with a relatively low % of uninsured and going full-out to embrace the Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare) will look five years from now.

  • Kassie

    I’d like to point out that we have a low number of uninsured and the cost of our health care plans offered under ACA are the lowest in the state. I would guess this has to do with a) less people with pent up need for medical procedures b) healthier people in general and c) our insurers being non-profits.

  • DavidG

    “…a statistically significant drop from 15.7 percent in 2011, the report said.”

    Given the next sentence, should be “insignificant?”

    • Bob Collins

      I don’t particularly think a .3 difference is statistically significant but I have to defer to the statisticians who say it is.

      In any event, the next sentence doesn’t relate because it refers to the lack of statistical significance when broken down by age of uninsured.

      Different stats.

      • DavidG

        ah. missed that: overall population vs age groups.

        I’ve obtained .3 differences that were significantly different, but were talking pretty precise measurements that I don’t typically associate with sociological surveys like this.

        Now, whether a .3 significant difference is important, that’s a completely separate question.

  • Bonnie

    I don’t expect to see a lot of change in MN…we are so far ahead of the curve on this one. I think it is laughable to hear Minnesotans talk about this as any big deal. If you live in Texas, on the other hand…