Indiana now has more people without health insurance than all of its neighboring states, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index.
The index shows the rate of uninsured in Indiana was virtually unchanged from last year, falling from 15.3 percent in 2013 to 15.0 percent this year.
Indiana‘s rate fell less than every state that surrounds us during that time, and, of those states, only Ohio joined Indiana in deciding to not expand Medicaid coverage as part of the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
“The other states that have expanded coverage have seen the number of uninsured people drop,” said Alex Slabosky, chairman of the Cover Indiana campaign, which seeks to expand health insurance coverage.
Governor Pence chose not to expand Medicaid, and the governor is awaiting federal approval of an expansion of the state‘s Healthy Indiana plan as a substitute, which Cover Indiana favors.
“We have great hope that when that is implemented, we will see a tremendous drop in the number of uninsured in Indiana,” Slabosky said.
The federal agency that oversees Medicaid recently sent the plan back to the state because Indiana failed to consult with a tribe of the Potawatomi Indians. That consultation has taken place, which means the official public comment period can begin.
Kentucky had the second-largest drop in its rate of uninsured in the country, falling 8.5 percentage points to 11.9 percent.
The rate in Illinois fell to 12.3 percent. It was 15.5 last year.
Michigan‘s uninsured rate dropped from 12.5 percent to 11.9 percent.
Those three states all chose to expand Medicare coverage to help people comply with Obamacare‘s insurance mandate.