The nationwide uninsured rate has fallen to 13.4 percent since the Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, was implemented. But uninsured rates vary dramatically across states. A new WalletHub analysis breaks down the numbers at the state level between 2010 and 2014.
Maine was the only state that saw an increase in the uninsured rate, with a rise of 0.01 percent. While the reason is unclear, around 466 people lost their health insurance. The state also saw the largest increase in the number of uninsured children, with the rate rising 2.33 percent.
Even though Massachusetts ranked second among states with the smallest decrease in the uninsured rate, the state boasts the lowest uninsured rate overall of 3.28 percent. Thanks to the implementation of a statewide public exchange for health insurance in 2006, the majority of low-income residents in Massachusetts were already covered pre-Obamacare.
Long touted as one of the biggest Obamacare success stories, Kentucky had the third largest drop in its uninsured rate. Yet the future of the state’s insured is uncertain with last week’s election of Matt Bevin as Kentucky’s next governor. Bevin based his campaign on a pledge to dismantle Kynect, the state’s insurance exchange.
All of the states that saw the largest drop in their uninsured rate have also adopted the Medicaid expansion. This relationship isn’t surprising because the states that fail to expand Medicaid leave many low-income adults in a coverage gap, where their incomes are above Medicaid eligibility requirements but below the lowest threshold for marketplace premium tax credits.
Here are the 20 states that have seen the largest and smallest decrease in their uninsured rate since Obamacare was implemented, according to WalletHub.
States with the Smallest Decrease in Uninsured Rate
42. Connecticut: -2.17 percent
43. Wisconsin: -2.08 percent
44. New Hampshire: -1.95 percent
45. Delaware: -1.92 percent
46. North Dakota: -1.92 percent
47. Nebraska: -1.86 percent
48. Pennsylvania: -1.70 percent
49. Missouri: -1.50 percent
50. Massachusetts: -0.13 percent
51. Maine: 0.01 percent
States with the Biggest Decrease in Uninsured Rate
1. Oregon: -7.42 percent
2. Nevada: -7.41 percent
3. Kentucky: -6.79 percent
4. California: -6.09 percent
5. West Virginia: -6.02 percent
6. Arkansas: -5.68 percent
7. Colorado: -5.62 percent
8. New Mexico: -5.09 percent
9. Washington: -5.00 percent
10. Rhode Island: -4.75 percent