Top 5 Best and Worst US States by Health Insurance Coverage

Written By
G. Dautovic
February 18,2022

The share of Americans that don’t have health insurance has been on a slow but steady upwards track since 2016. Fortunately, it remains below the numbers from before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was signed into law in 2010.

In 2019, approximately 29 million US residents under the age of 65 lacked health insurance. While people older than 65 are eligible for Medicare, all other adults receive employer-based health insurance coverage.

This sad figure is from well before the pandemic left more than 22 million Americans without a regular job, and turned medical insurance into something people had to work into their tightening budget.

According to the US Census Bureau’s 2019 American Community Survey, New Mexico had the lowest percentage of the population under 65 years of age enrolled in employer-provided insurance - a mere 46.1%.

On the other hand, Minnesota had the highest rate of insured adults younger than 65 - 69.8%. On the other hand, New Mexico is the leader in terms of people under 65 covered by Medicaid at 37%. Utah has the lowest percentage of Medicaid-insured people younger than 65, with only 9%.

People who had to purchase their own health insurance were the most numerous in Florida, at 14.2%. West Virginia had the fewest directly bought policies - only 5.7% of the eligible population took this route.

The five states that had the highest percentages of health-insured people under the age of 65 are:

 Massachusetts 96.5%
Rhode Island 95.2%
Hawaii 95%
Vermont 94.4%
Minnesota 94.2%

The five states that had the lowest insurance coverage for people under 65 (ranked by the lowest percentage of people insured) are:

Texas 79.2%
Oklahoma 83.2%
Florida 83.7%
Georgia 84.5%
Mississippi 84.6%

Even though the majority of jobs lost to the pandemic have since been either revived or replaced, the official rate of medically uninsured Americans will likely remain higher than projected.

About author

I have always thought of myself as a writer, but I began my career as a data operator with a large fintech firm. This position proved invaluable for learning how banks and other financial institutions operate. Daily correspondence with banking experts gave me insight into the systems and policies that power the economy. When I got the chance to translate my experience into words, I gladly joined the smart, enthusiastic Fortunly team.

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