Mapping the Changing Uninsured Landscape From 2013 to Today

By Anna Gilbert

Who is still uninsured in the United States? Where do they live? How has this landscape changed since before the first open enrollment period? Our recently released 2015 uninsured model helps answer these commonly asked questions, and more!

Data from our model shows how uninsured rates have changed by geography and demographic group. To help better understand what’s happening across the country and help you reach uninsured consumers in your area, we created interactive maps with county-level uninsured rates and demographic details. Zooming out, a national success story emerges along with key geographic trends.

2015 Uninsured Rates by County

On the map below, move your cursor over individual counties to see the 2015 uninsured rate compared with the 2013 uninsured rate, along with the estimated uninsured rates by race, age, and gender.

Big Successes Since 2013

The first thing to notice is the tremendous progress made between the time immediately prior to the first open enrollment period and today.

  • Overall, the national uninsured rate decreased from 16.4 percent in 2013 to 10.7 percent in 2015 — an impressive decline of 6 percentage points.
  • In 2013, 44 percent of counties and seven states had uninsured rates over 20 percent (on the map above, this is dark blue). Today, only 7 percent of counties have rates this high, and no states do. Of these remaining counties (there are 228), 80 percent are in just six states: Alaska, Florida, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, and Texas.
  • Nearly all counties (99 percent) saw their uninsured rate decrease or remain consistent between 2015 and 2013; of the counties where rates increased, most were very rural and located in the Southwest. (Also check out this page to see a map with the change in county uninsured rates from 2013 to 2015.)

Key Geographic Trends

  • Two of the most populous states with high uninsured rates Florida and Texas have distinct shared characteristics: populations with a high proportion of Hispanic residents and high numbers of movers coming into the state from other areas of the United States.
  • Half of the uninsured are located in just 5 percent of counties (150 total), all of which are in large metro areas. Rural areas, on the other hand, frequently have higher uninsured rates, although the lower population density means that only 2 percent of the estimated uninsured population live in these areas. In future blog posts, we will further explore the key differences in uninsured rates between metro and non-metro counties.

Additional Materials Available

There is so much that can be learned from the uninsured model — and we want to turn it over to you to explore what’s happening in your area. In Enroll America’s data resource hub, you can now also find:

  • State Profiles for 14 states where we do much of our on-the-ground outreach (soon, we’re posting analyses of all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
  • 3 interactive maps that show the 2015 uninsured rates, 2013 uninsured rates and the decrease over time.
  • A CSV file of county level uninsured rates in 2013, 2014 and 2015.

We’ll be exploring more demographic-specific trends in more blog posts over the next couple of weeks, so stay tuned!


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