So far, 25 states plus the District of Columbia have opted to expand coverage that will allow those with making up to 138% of the federal poverty level to sign up for Medicaid. As many as 21 states have rejected plans to expand coverage to their low-income residents, while three states—New Hampshire, Tennessee and Ohio—are still debating whether to move forward.
Non-citizens had the highest rates of uninsured of any demographic at 43%, a figure unlikely to change much under the Affordable Care Act, which explicitly excludes anyone living in the U.S. illegally.
The next most likely people to be uninsured in the U.S. are Hispanics (29%). Young people, ages 19-34, are close behind at 27%. HHS and its partners are aggressively targeting those groups in their outreach efforts.
“It is time for partisan bickering and implementation obstruction to end so that we all work together to secure affordable healthcare for America's families,” said Ron Pollack, executive director of one of those partners, Families USA.
The Census Bureau also found the highest concentration of uninsured residing in Southern and Western states. Many of them will become newly eligible for Medicaid in Western states such as California, Nevada and Arizona.
But in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi and Louisiana—all states that opted out of expanding their Medicaid programs—residents whose incomes are too low to qualify to receive a federal subsidy for heath insurance are likely to remain uninsured.
In a separate report issued Tuesday, HHS estimated that more than half of the people in the uninsured population will qualify for Medicaid, CHIP or tax credits that will allow them to buy coverage for $100 or less next year. That would be the case for nearly 80% of the uninsured if all of the states expanded Medicaid, HHS said.