The number of uninsured Americans fell in 2020

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Almost 21% of adults were uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid, compared with about 10% of adults in expanding states.

Despite job losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of uninsured Americans declined in 2020 compared to 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Last year, 31.6 million people, or 9.7% of the population, did not have insurance. In 2019, 33.2 million people, or 10.3% of the population, were uninsured.

Adults aged 18 to 64 were the most likely to be uninsured, with almost 14% having no insurance in 2020. This compares to around 5% of children without insurance and less than 1% of people. elderly uninsured.

For adults aged 18 to 64, private insurance coverage has effectively increased, from 66.8% in 2019 to 67.5% in 2020. Public coverage has remained stable, from 20.4% in 2019 to 20.5% last year.

But the differences in uninsured rates were dramatic between states that extended Medicaid and those that did not.

Almost 21% of adults were uninsured in states that did not expand Medicaid, compared with about 10% of adults in expanding states.

People living in non-expanding states were also less likely to have private health insurance coverage. In expanding states, more than 69% of adults had private insurance, compared to over 64% in non-expanding states.

About 8.6 million adults have obtained private health insurance through federal or state health scholarships established under the Affordable Care Act.

The differences in insurance coverage were glaring when looked at by race. Almost 30% of Hispanic adults and almost 15% of blacks had no insurance. This compares to about 9% of whites and non-Hispanic Asians.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shone the spotlight on racial and ethnic disparities. Blacks and Hispanics are 2.8 times more likely than whites to be hospitalized with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Blacks are twice as likely to die from the virus, and Hispanics are 2.3 times as likely to die.

Social determinants of health such as access to health care, socioeconomic status, and occupation may all play a role in health outcomes after exposure to COVID-19.


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