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How the lack of implementation of Medicaid expansion has led to an increase in uninsured citizens in Southwest Florida

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, Congress has come up with numerous ways to enable the citizens of the US to get quality healthcare. The Covid-19 pandemic brought in a high rate of unemployment, economic recession, and a high rate of inflation. Congress has ensured that public and private health insurance are provided for those with access to medicare and ensuring low-income households have access to the basic essential health services.
These policies made by the federal and adopted by the state have helped increase public coverage of health in over 36 States thus lowering insured rates in 28 states. Though, North Dakota was known to have a higher insured rate in 2021 as compared to 2019 provided by 2021 American community survey (ACS) 1-year estimates.
The large sample size displayed by ACS shows the state, their insurance rates, the type of coverage ( public or private ), and the number of uninsured citizens. Health care coverage may change depending on the state and is affected by various factors such as the age of the mass, socioeconomic status, and federal and state policies.

Rate differences in uninsured states

Whether a state expanded its Medicare eligibility to meet the healthcare needs of low-income households is entirely dependent on healthcare coverage. Medicare was expanded under the Patient and Affordable Care Act (ACT) to help low-income households access healthcare. Before the expansion, there were some restrictions on who was eligible for Medicare such as disability or family members with one, a child or children younger than 18, and a total annual income less than 140% of the poverty level in America. Medicare was expanded to reach solely people with a low income that couldn’t afford premium subsidies.
Thrity-six have expanded their Medicare eligibility on or before January 2021 causing a decrease in uninsured citizens ( expansion state ), while 14 estates have not adopted the policy (non-expansion state ) In 2021, the uninsured rate was 6.6% in expansion states and 12.7% in non-expansion states. Five states with uninsured rates of 12% or more (Florida, Georgia, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wyoming) had not expanded Medicaid eligibility.
Between 2019 and 2021, the rates of uninsured citizens dropped to 0.5 percentage points. The states with the largest drops were Idaho ( 2.0 percentage points) and Maine (2.3 percentage points). There wasn’t any drastic change between the two states but they opted for Medicare expansion in 2021.

Private health insurance coverage

Most people opt for private health insurance through their employers, and family members, they purchase it directly or through TRICARE a health insurance program for uniform members and their families; it also includes retries.
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Due to the Covid-19 pandemic unemployment was rampant which caused a decline in private health coverage. While 18 other states saw a decline in private health insurance, one state saw an increase – Florida by 1.5 percentage points through direct purchase coverage.Marketplace coverage increased in Florida during the pandemic which is also a type of direct purchase coverage.

Public Health Insurance Coverage

Most people also opted for public health insurance which comes through Medicare which assists elderly people over 65 years, and the Medicaid program which covers people with low income, disabilities, or veterans. Public health coverage increased drastically in the 36 states and there was no decline during this period. The high rise was due to the Medicare expansion program also assisted with consistent awareness and enrollment.

Medicaid Expansion and Public Health Coverage

Public health coverage was higher in expansion states than compared to dino in non-expansion state.22.7% of people in expansion states and 18.0% in non-expansion states. Though Florida is a Non Expansion state there was still an increase in its percentage points
The government of Florida states offers public health insurance by providing a preferred physician organization (PPO) which allows them to choose their preferred physician. They also have a health maintenance organization
(HMO) which restricts them to a particular set of physicians in their network. The two options are great and available for those that can’t afford private health subsidies though this option can be seen in families of both high and at times middle income. Most low-income households might be able to afford health insurance, especially those that stay in a non-expansion state like Florida. The state is still looking for means to make healthcare a basic right and not a privilege for Florida citizens.
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