Census Data Show Uninsured People Concentrated In Rural Southern Idaho

Mar 17, 2015

Credit Data: U.S. Census Bureau | Map: Emilie Ritter Saunders

The share of uninsured Idahoans ticked up slightly in 2013, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau.

The Small Area Health Insurance Estimate from Census shows 18.8 percent of Idahoans under the age of  65 didn't have health insurance in 2013. That's the year before health insurance subsidies took effect through Idaho's insurance exchange.

Idaho ranked among the top 15 states with the most uninsured people, tying with Arkansas at 11. Census data show Massachusetts had the lowest rate of uninsured people, while Texas had the highest.

According to the Census measure, Idaho's uninsured rate in 2012 was 18.5 percent.

The 2013 data show 33 of Idaho's 44 counties had a higher rate of uninsured people than the state average. In 11 Idaho counties, more than a quarter of people under 65 were uninsured.

Urban Ada County had the lowest number of uninsured people at 14.5 percent, while rural Clark County had the highest at 38.8 percent. Owyhee, Lincoln, Camas and Gooding rounded out the top five counties with largest share of uninsured. Each of those counties has less than 16,000 residents.

Data: U.S. Census Bureau | Map: Emilie Ritter Saunders

When the 2014 data is released, Idaho's uninsured rate will likely be lower, given that upwards of 80,000 people have purchased health insurance through the Affordable Care Act's marketplace.

A poll from Gallup estimates Idaho's uninsured rate is down to 15.2 percent.

Find Emilie Ritter Saunders on Twitter @emiliersaunders

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