Uninsured Rates Fall In Missouri, But Expansion States Are Dropping Faster

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Uninsured Rates Fall In Missouri, But Expansion States Are Dropping Faster

The uninsured rates in Missouri continue to drop.

But they’re declining faster in states that have expanded Medicaid, the health insurance program for low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.

New data out Tuesday from the U.S. Census Bureau estimates that Missouri’s uninsured rate dropped from 13 percent to 9.8 percent. This means that approximately 190,000 residents have gained coverage since 2013 when the number of uninsured totaled about 773,000.

Nationally, the share of uninsured Americans shrank to 9.4 percent, the lowest level since before the Great Recession.

Uninsured rates are declining more rapidly in the 32 states and District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid.

 Missouri is among 19 states that haven’t expanded Medicaid to cover adults earning below 138 percent of the federal poverty rate: $16,394 a year for individuals and $33,534 for a family of four.

On average, the uninsured rate in non-expansion states is 12.3 percent, compared with 7.2 percent in states that have expanded eligibility.

Amy Blouin, executive director of the Missouri Budget Project, a nonprofit advocacy group pushing for expansion, says an estimated 583,000 Missourians — about one in 10 — still lack insurance.

“Missourians are still struggling, and our state is losing out,” Blouin says.

Read the full story from KCUR here