CDC: 1.1 million more Americans lost health insurance coverage in 2018
Ken Alltucker, USA TODAY | May 9, 2019
The number of Americans without health insurance increased again in 2018, the second consecutive year that figure has risen after several years of declines under Obamacare, a new Centers for Disease Control and Prevention survey shows.
An estimated 30.4 million Americans did not have health insurance in 2018, up from 29.3 million in 2017, according to the CDC's National Health Interview Survey. That means about 1.1 million more Americans lost insurance coverage last year.
“I don’t think it’s too shocking with efforts to undermine the Affordable Care Act as part of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” said Daniel Derksen, a University of Arizona professor and health policy expert.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 eliminated the health law’s individual mandate that required people get health insurance or pay a penalty.
Derksen said a strong economy means more low-income people likely moved from Medicaid coverage to health insurance through a job. That won’t necessarily make health care more affordable for those whose health plans shift costs to them through higher deductibles and co-payments.
The CDC survey said the number of Americans in a high-deductible plans reached an all-time high, covering 45.8% of people with private health insurance in 2018. In 2010, 25% of people with private coverage had high-deductible plans.
High-deductible plans are popular among companies seeking to defray the spiraling cost of health care, but a recent survey by Kaiser Family Foundation and the Los Angeles Times found that many employees in high-deductible plans have postponed care or cut spending on household expenses such as food and clothing.
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