As health-insurance becomes more widely available across the country with the launch of the Affordable Care Act’s insurance exchanges, 24/7 Wall Street compiled a report of the states with the worst health insurance in the nation in 2012. Here are the top 10 states with the highest rates of uninsured, based on the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.
Despite having an unemployment rate of 6.8%, the 17th lowest in the nation, 22.5% of its population doesn’t have health insurance. What’s more, it also has among the highest portion of uninsured children, elderly and unemployed, according to the report.
The state was a close second with 22.2% of its residents uninsured in 2012. Minors in the state were the most likely in the country to lack coverage, with 16.6% uninsured—more than double the national rate.
Nevada is expected to sign up 188,000 people on its state exchange during open enrollment period, the Las Vegas Sun reports.
More than 20% of Alaskans were without insurance in 2012, despite its 7% unemployment rate. It is one of the wealthiest states in the nation, according to 24/7 Wall Street, with a median income of $67,712, but due to the seasonal nature of the work for many, many workers go without coverage.
A little more than 20% of Florida’s residents were uninsured last year. The state is just one of four where at least one-fifth of the population was uninsured in 2012, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
Georgia is tied for the fifth highest rate of uninsured residents, with 18.4% of residents going sans coverage. While the national average of unemployed workers without insurance was 43.8%, Georgia’s average of unemployed without coverage was 53.6%.
Oklahoma tied for the highest rate of uninsured residents with 18.4% going without coverage. Less than half of the population in the state received coverage through an employer, compared to close to 55% of the national population, according to 24/7 Wall Street.
An estimated 200,000 residents in the state will benefit from the exchange under the ACA, state officials report.
The state is also tied for the fifth-highest rate of uninsured residents also at 18.4%. 24/7 Wall Street reports it also has the nation’s second-highest poverty rate for 2012 at 21.5%. Individuals cannot yet register for coverage on the state's exchange.
Montana’s population of uninsured has remained near 18% for the past three years, according to the report. It also has an unemployment rate of 6.0%, the 14th lowest in the country.
The report says that while California has among the highest rates of uninsured residents at 17.9%, it also is among the states standing to benefit most from the Affordable Care Act. California has the second-highest unemployment rate in the country at 10.5%.
Rounding out the list was Arizona with an estimated 17.6% of residents without insurances in 2012. Children in the state were less likely than minors across the country to be insured, with an estimated 13.2% under the age of 18 uninsured.
With the launch of the long-awaited health insurance exchanges, here’s a look at the states with the most uninsured residents. As of yesterday's rollout, 2.8 million people had visited the healthcare.gov website, said Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner.