Uninsured Rate for Poor, Childless Adults Declines

As the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress explore ways of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act, a new study shows how beneficial the law has been to poor adults who don’t have children.

The study by the Urban Institute found that between 2013 and 2015, the rate of poor, childless adults without health insurance fell by 47.1 percent.

For low-income, childless adults who were in fair or poor health, the results were even more dramatic. The rate of uninsured among that group fell by nearly 62 percent.

The rates of people without coverage came down as a result of the ACA’s expansion in eligibility qualifications for Medicaid, the joint federal-state health plan for those living on low incomes. The law opened eligibility to childless adults whose income was below 138 percent of the federal poverty line.

While the expanded Medicaid eligibility criteria were intended to apply nationwide, a 2012 Supreme Court ruling made expansion optional for the states. As of now, 25 states have chosen not to expand coverage.

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