Number of uninsured rises; self-employed most affected

Update: The Kaiser Family Foundation published a detailed update on this topic with 2017 data.

The number of people without health insurance is rising again after declining with the massive funding of insurance subsidies under the Affordable Care Act. The federal government says that 29 million Americans were uninsured at the beginning of 2016 and this number increased by at least a million since then. My anecdotal observation is that fewer self-employed people are maintaining required coverage. The number of uninsured is less than 1 in 10 but this is still a significant portion of the population. Most of these are working-class individuals and are disproportionately represented by self-employed people. Some are facing rate increases more than 40% for 2017 and this is likely to cause more policy cancellations.

I received a call yesterday from a woman in concerned that she may not be able to buy health insurance without a social security number. I explained that the lack of a social security number was not a deterrent to fining coverage but that the Sate of New York government’s rules combined with the federal rules for buying health insurance meant that no good options are available at this time. In a case like this I sent her to to look at other options.

The unavailability of health insurance is still a major problem for many Americans.


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