CDC: Uninsured in Pa. drops to 8 percent overall

Katherine Ranzenberger

Pennsylvania is faring better than the national average when it comes to residents covered by health care insurance, with only 8 percent uninsured after five years of the Affordable Care Act, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The CDC released a report Tuesday touting the record low percentage of uninsured Americans. The country's rate fell to 9.1 percent in 2015, according to the report, meaning fewer than one out of every 10 Americans remain uninsured.

"Today’s report is further proof that our country has made undeniable and historic strides thanks to the Affordable Care Act," Sylvia Mathews Burwell, U.S. secretary of health and human services, said in a statement Tuesday.

Pennsylvania is also beating the national average when it comes to uninsured residents between the ages of 18 and 64, the broad age group that is too old for children's health programs and too young for Medicare.

Currently 10.9 percent of Pennsylvania residents 18 to 64 remain uninsured, according to the CDC. That's down 5.5 percent from 2013.

Nationwide, that figure is 12.8 percent.

"There's still more work to do as we build a health care system that works for everyone and results in better care, smarter spending and healthier people," Burwell said. "But our country is unequivocally on stronger footing today because of the Affordable Care Act. That’s progress to celebrate."

Insured people between the ages of 18 and 64 are most likely covered by a private health care plan, with 73.2 percent of Pennsylvanians on that list, according to the CDC. Public health care plans cover the remaining 17.8 percent.

This is on par with the country's average, with 69.7 percent of Americans between 18 and 64 on private health care plans and 18.9 percent on public health care plans.

Those uninsured 17 and under in Pennsylvania remain the lowest overall, with only 5.6 percent of children without coverage, according to the CDC. This is not quite as good as the national average, with only 4.5 percent of American children 17 and under remaining uninsured.

Of those children covered in Pennsylvania, 60.6 percent are covered by private health care plans and 35.5 percent are covered by public health care plans.

Nationally, 42.2 percent of children are on public health care plans while 54.7 percent are covered by private plans.

Public health care coverage for Pennsylvanians increased by 3.7 percent from 2013 to 2015, according to the CDC. Private health care coverage increased 1.9 percent from 2013 to 2015.

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