KY Policy Blog

A County-by-County Look at Kentucky’s Dramatic Drop in Uninsured

By Dustin Pugel
March 29, 2017

According to new data from the Census Small Area Health Insurance Estimates, Kentucky’s rate of uninsured residents under 65 years old dropped from 16.8 in 2013 to 7.1 percent in 2015, a 9.7 percentage point drop. All 120 counties saw a decline in their uninsured residents:

While eastern Kentucky counties largely saw a greater portion of county residents covered through the Medicaid expansion, the counties that most drastically cut their uninsured rates were fairly spread out across the commonwealth. While the Affordable Care Act played the main role in reducing the number of Kentuckians uninsured, an improving economy also helped. As might be expected, Jefferson, Fayette, Kenton and Warren counties saw the largest number decline in uninsured. But when looking at the percentage point decline, a different, rural set of counties saw the most progress:

  • Todd (15.8 percentage point decline)
  • Casey (13.9 percentage point decline)
  • Green (13.6 percentage point decline)
  • Menifee (13.5 percentage point decline)
  • Nicholas (13.4 percentage point decline)

The ACA brought coverage to roughly half a million Kentuckians through Medicaid expansion and insurance policies purchased on our exchange. This rapid growth in coverage has led to people using preventative and other care that improves health. Every part of our commonwealth has benefited from greater coverage, and we should build on that success, not move backward through cuts to Medicaid and repeal of the ACA or by making harmful changes to our healthcare system here in Kentucky.

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