A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Health Issues Poll provides insight into insurance coverage among Kentucky adults; 12% uninsured

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Having health insurance is an important factor in being able to get needed health care. Since 2008, the Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) has asked questions to learn about health insurance coverage among Kentucky adults.  The 2016 KHIP is sponsored by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

The rate of uninsured adults in Kentucky decreased by half between 2013 (25 percent) and 2014 (12 percent) as the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The percentage of uninsured adults has remained stable since then.

In 2016, KHIP found that 12 percent of Kentucky adults were uninsured. Kentucky’s adult uninsured rate was similar to the nation’s. In early 2016, 12 percent of adults ages 18 to 64 nationwide were uninsured. “These surveys help us determine the issues Kentucky adults are facing and how to best focus our efforts to serve their needs,” says O’dell M. Owens, M.D., M.P.H., President/CEO of Interact for Health. “These results show that more Kentucky adults have health insurance coverage and fewer have public insurance.” He adds, “This is particularly important, because we know that having insurance is strongly connected with getting the appropriate health care at the appropriate time.”
 
More Northern Kentucky adults insured through employer; fewer have public insurance

More than 4 in 10 Kentucky adults (45 percent) reported that they received health insurance through an employer. This is about the same as in 2015 (41 percent).  “But Northern Kentucky adults are more likely to have employer sponsored insurance – 60 percent vs. 45 percent statewide,” says Kate Keller, Vice President, System Strategies, Interact for Health. “This is the second year in a row that this has been true for Northern Kentucky.”

About 3 in 10 Kentucky adults received some type of public insurance in 2016 (29 percent). That is down from 35 percent in 2015. Northern Kentucky adults are less likely to have public insurance – 22 percent vs. 29 percent statewide. Public insurance includes Medicare, Medicaid, military benefits and combinations of the three. Kentucky is one of 28 states that in 2014 expanded Medicaid eligibility to people earning up to 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

About 1 in 10 Kentucky adults (13 percent) reported getting their health insurance from some other source. This includes adults who purchased their own plan or who were covered on a parent’s insurance.
 
1 in 4 young adults covered under a parent’s plan

About 1 in 4 Kentucky adults ages 18 to 26 (24 percent) reported that they were insured through a parent’s plan. The Affordable Care Act allows adults up to age 26 to be covered on a parent’s health insurance plan.
 
Percentage of adults with unstable insurance continues to improve

              Having continuous insurance coverage for the past 12 months is an important factor in accessing health care. This is known as stability of health insurance. KHIP found that fewer than 1 in 10 adults ages 18 to 64 who were insured at the time of KHIP (9 percent) lacked insurance sometime in the past year. Added to the 12 percent of adults currently uninsured, this means that 21 percent of adults statewide had unstable insurance at the time of the poll. This is similar to 2015. Since 2011, the percentage of Kentucky adults ages 18 to 64 reporting unstable insurance has dropped by nearly half. Adults in Northern Kentucky were even less likely to have unstable insurance – 14 percent in Northern Kentucky vs. 21 percent statewide.

More information about Kentuckians’ health insurance coverage, and other topics, is available at Health Issues Poll.
 
The 2016 Kentucky Health Issues Poll (KHIP) is funded by Interact for Health and the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. KHIP was conducted Sept. 11-Oct. 19, 2016, by the Institute for Policy Research at the University of Cincinnati.

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