Health insurance is crucial for ensuring we can access medical care when we need it most. The 2023 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) gives us important insights into health insurance coverage moving forward in the U.S., including some key points that are relevant for us Iowans. Here's a straightforward breakdown of what’s happening and what it means for us based on the CDC’s early estimate statistical release on June 18th.

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National Health Insurance Trends in 2023

In 2023, about 25 million people in the U.S. (7.6% of the population) were uninsured. This is a small improvement from 2022, when 27.6 million people (8.4%) lacked insurance.

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Adults and Children Without Insurance

  • Adults (18-64 years old): 10.9% were uninsured in 2023, down from 12.2% in 2022.
  • Children (0-17 years old): 3.9% were uninsured in 2023, slightly better than 4.2% in 2022.

More adults are getting insurance through public programs (23%) and private plans (68.1%). For children, public coverage is at 44.2% and private coverage at 54%.

Growing Use of Health Insurance Marketplaces

The use of exchange-based health insurance plans has increased, with 4.8% of people getting their coverage this way in 2023, up from 3.7% in 2019.

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Income and Health Insurance Coverage

Income levels affect insurance status:

  • Below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL): 20.2% of adults were uninsured in 2023, down from 22.7% in 2022.
  • 100% to 200% of FPL: 19.1% were uninsured in 2023, down from 22.3% in 2022.
  • Above 400% of FPL: About 4% were uninsured, unchanged from 2022.
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Racial and Ethnic Differences

Uninsured rates vary among different groups:

  • Hispanic adults: 24.8% uninsured, down from 27.6% in 2022.
  • Black non-Hispanic adults: 10.4% uninsured, down from 13.3%.
  • White non-Hispanic adults: 6.8% uninsured, down from 7.4%.
  • Asian non-Hispanic adults: 4.4% uninsured, down from 7.1%.

Medicaid Expansion’s Impact

Medicaid expansion states, like Iowa, see better insurance coverage:

  • Expansion states: Public coverage for adults went up from 23.4% in 2019 to 25.2% in 2023, and uninsured rates dropped from 11% to 8.3%.
  • Non-expansion states: Public coverage rose from 15.1% to 18.1%, and uninsured rates dropped from 21.2% to 16.8%.
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What This Means for Iowans

These trends suggest that Iowa, which expanded Medicaid, is benefiting from increased insurance coverage. More Iowans have access to necessary healthcare services, which is vital for community health. It's even been said that Iowa is the new insurance capital of the nation.

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For individuals and families, it’s important to explore all available health insurance options, including private plans, public programs like Medicaid, and marketplace options. Staying informed about these trends can help you make better healthcare decisions and get you a better plan based on your needs and income. The NHIS data provides a hopeful outlook that with continued efforts, we can ensure better health outcomes for everyone. For more detailed information, you can check out the full NHIS report on the CDC’s website.

READ ON: See the States Where People Live the Longest

Stacker used data from the 2020 County Health Rankings to rank every state's average life expectancy from lowest to highest. The 2020 County Health Rankings values were calculated using mortality counts from the 2016-2018 National Center for Health Statistics. The U.S. Census 2019 American Community Survey and America's Health Rankings Senior Report 2019 data were also used to provide demographics on the senior population of each state and the state's rank on senior health care, respectively.

Read on to learn the average life expectancy in each state.

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