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Uninsured Americans: 7 things to know

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The number of uninsured Americans remains a big challenge for the country and could cause problems for ASCs this year.

When the pandemic began, some patients opted to delay or cancel elective surgery at ASCs because they lost insurance after being furloughed or laid off. Health Affairs examined big trends among uninsured Americans based on the most recent data available.

Seven takeaways:

1. There were 29.8 million uninsured people in 2019.

2. Eighty percent of the uninsured people in 2019 had been without coverage for more than a year.

3. Job loss from the pandemic caused many to lose their job-based insurance coverage. The Congressional Budget Office expects the number of uninsured individuals in 2020 to have increased to about 31 million people.

4. Some employers continued to provide health insurance coverage for laid-off and furloughed employees during the pandemic.

5. About 20 million of the uninsured people in 2019, or 67 percent, were eligible for coverage through Medicaid, the marketplace or job-based coverage but were not enrolled in those programs.

6. Most uninsured adults say they're not enrolled in an insurance plan because it isn't affordable, according to a CDC analysis.

7. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the states with an uninsured rate of more than 12 percent are:

  • Texas
  • Idaho
  • Wyoming
  • Nevada
  • Arizona
  • Alaska
  • Oklahoma
  • Missouri
  • Alabama
  • Tennessee
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina
  • Georgia
  • Florida

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