Midwest States See Gains in Health Insurance Coverage

Several Midwest states report significant drops in the number of residents without health insurance.

New data shows nearly 200,000 Wisconsin residents gained some form of health insurance between 2013 and 2015.

In Illinois, under the Affordable Care Act, the number of its residents without health insurance dropped last year to around 900,000, down from 1.2 million in 2014.

Since 2012, t Ohio’s uninsured health insurance rate has been cut in half, down from 17.3 percent in 2012 to 8.7 percent in 2015, the Ohio Insurance Institute reported

The U.S. Census Bureau released figures that show about the number of uninsured people in Wisconsin dropped 3.7 percent during those years, from 518,000 in 2013 to 323,000 people in 2015.

The number of uninsured people nationally dropped 5.1 percent between 2013 and 2015, from 45.1 million to 29.7 million.

The census bureau noted that many provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care law went into effect between 2013 and 2015.

Obamacare requires all Americans to have health insurance or pay a fine. Nationally, 9.4 percent of Americans were uninsured in 2015, down from 14.5 percent in 2013.

Kathy Waligora of the maternal and child health advocacy organization EverThrive Illinois says the numbers are cause for celebration.

Obamacare led to the creation of online marketplaces, where individuals can buy health insurance. The Illinois Department of Insurance recently submitted to the federal government rate increases ranging from averages of 43 to 55 percent for next year.