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We Mapped the Uninsured. You'll Notice a Pattern.

They tend to live in the South, and they tend to be poor.

New York Times: The Upshot, October 30, 2015
by QUOCTRUNG BUI and MARGOT SANGER-KATZ

Two years into Obamacare, clear regional patterns are emerging about who has health insurance in America and who still doesn’t.

The remaining uninsured are primarily in the South and the Southwest. They tend to be poor. They tend to live in Republican-leaning states. The rates of people without insurance in the Northeast and the upper Midwest have fallen into the single digits since the Affordable Care Act’s main provisions kicked in. But in many parts of the country, obtaining health insurance is still a problem for many Americans.

These trends emerged in an analysis we undertook with the help of two organizations that are closely monitoring the progress of the health law. Last year, we used similar data to show the the substantial effects Obamacare had on reducing the number of Americans without health insurance. This year, the same groups updated their estimates of where America’s uninsured live, and the change is a lot less drastic. States that were late to expand Medicaid, including Pennsylvania and Indiana, showed substantial reductions in their uninsured residents compared with last year. In other places, the changes have been more modest. In a few — like Mississippi — things appear to have gotten worse, with fewer people having health insurance this year than last.

“This year it’s more of a state-specific story,” said Ed Coleman, the director of data and analytics at Enroll America, an organization devoted to finding uninsured people and signing them up for insurance. Enroll worked with the data firm Civis Analytics to produce the numbers in our map. “There was a pronounced drop pretty much everywhere last year, and we don’t see that pattern again this time around.”

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