Top 5 Reasons Why People Are Still Uninsured


Young adults and low income individuals comprise large population of those uninsured under Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has played a key role in reducing the uninsured rate, but covering the remaining uninsured population has proven to be difficult, especially in certain populations.

Racial and ethnic minorities comprise an overwhelming percentage of the population. A recent report from the Commonwealth Fund found that 88% of the uninsured population were Latinos.

Young adults and low-income individuals also make up a large proportion of the uninsured rate.

Below are the top 5 reasons people are still uninsured:

1. Undocumented immigrants cannot buy coverage

The ACA does not allow this population to enroll in Medicaid or purchase plans in the exchange. Undocumented immigrants comprise approximately 15% of the uninsured population, including a large number of Latinos.

2. Lack of Medicaid expansion

Currently, 19 states have not chosen to expand their Medicaid program, despite the success seen in other states, and many studies that have shown expansion to be beneficial. Since it was assumed people with incomes under 100% of the poverty level would be enrolled in Medicaid, they would not qualify for subsidies.

However, in non-expansion states, these people are not eligible for Medicaid, and many people cannot afford ACA plans without subsidies, according to the study.

3. Lack of awareness about exchanges

Approximately 62% of uninsured adults were not aware of the marketplaces in 2016. Demographic groups with high rates of uninsurance were the least likely to be informed.

4. Concerns about costs and subsidies

Uninsured adults who were informed about marketplaces were concerned that they could not afford the plans, so they did not visit them or enroll in a plan. Some people learned that they would not receive a subsidy after they shopped for a plan.

Of uninsured adults who shopped for plans, 85% did not purchase it because they were not affordable.

5. Difficulties selecting a plan

People who enrolled in plans reported an easier time finding differences between plans, and a plan that was affordable compared with people who did not enroll.

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