12.6 percent of Kansans uninsured in 2012, report finds

07/17/2014 6:59 AM

08/08/2014 10:25 AM

The Topeka-based Kansas Health Institute recently released its annual insurance report that looks at health coverage throughout the state and historical trends to show the impact of the Affordable Care Act, according to a news release.

The report uses 2012 Census information and found that about 12.6 percent of the population, or 359,000 Kansans, were uninsured in 2012. That number was about the same as 2011. The national rate is 14.8 percent uninsured.

But the rate of uninsured children has declined since 2008 from about 9.3 percent to 7.3 percent in Kansas in 2012.

The report also found that most of the uninsured in Kansas (70.8 percent) were between 19 and 44 years old and three-fourths of the uninsured adults in Kansas work.

This year’s report only included 2012 data, so it did not have information about the effect of the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov, which officially opened in October 2013.

However, the report says that about 60 percent of uninsured Kansans could qualify for some financial subsidies from the government to help pay for coverage on the marketplace.

Federal data that was released in May said that about 57,000 Kansans signed up for health coverage on the marketplace during the open enrollment period from October 2013 to April 2014.

More than 52 percent of Kansans were covered by employer-sponsored health plans in 2012 and nearly 30 percent of Kansans are covered through government programs like Medicare and Medicaid.

The report also found that Hispanic Kansans were two and a half times more likely to be uninsured than non-Hispanic white Kansans.

In a county by county breakdown, Sedgwick County had an overall uninsured rate of 15.5 percent. Southwest Kansas counties had the highest uninsured rates of any region, with most of those counties between 19.3 and 26.8 percent uninsured.

KHI, which is Topeka-based nonprofit largely funded by the Kansas Health Foundation, was formed to research health policy information for legislators.

For more information, visit www.khi.org.

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