- The number of Americans lacking health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic dropped by 5.6 million people, or 18%, from 2019 to 2022, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.
- In 2022, 4% or 27.6 million Americans lacked health insurance compared with 10.3% or 33.2 million people in 2019. More people also sought health insurance on Affordable Care Act exchanges last year compared with before the pandemic, the CDC found.
- The findings reflect government subsidies released during the pandemic aimed at boosting healthcare access for Americans, including requirements stipulating that states must keep Medicaid beneficiaries on their rolls during the public health emergency, which ended last week.
Uninsured rates for Americans dropped to new lows throughout the coronavirus pandemic as lawmakers eased access to federal health plans and subsidized marketplace plans enacted through the American Rescue Plan. As a result, a record-breaking 16.3 million people signed up for ACA marketplace plans during the 2023 open enrollment season, according to the CMS.
Uninsured rates also dropped for Americans historically lacking coverage, like those with incomes between 100% and 200% of federal poverty levels, according to the HHS, and enrollment in Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Plans swelled.
"Despite experiencing the largest decrease in employer-sponsored health insurance as our economy came to a grinding halt because of COVID, this new CDC report shows that the combination of Medicaid and the health insurance exchanges did their job and protected families' health and financial security," Frederick Isasi, executive director at the nonprofit Families U.S. told HealthDay.
As Medicaid added more Americans onto its roles during the pandemic, more Americans in states with Medicaid were insured compared with those living in non-Medicaid states. Of adults ages 18-64 surveyed, 19.2% were uninsured compared with 9.1% of Americans in Medicaid expansion states in 2022.
The rate of uninsured children also fell, with the CDC finding that 4.2% of children were uninsured last year compared with 5.1% in 2019.
Despite an increase in the number of insured Americans due to Medicaid rules and the COVID-19 pandemic, people could lose insurance as these programs end.