New Census Bureau data once again show that Massachusetts leads the nation in health insurance coverage, with roughly 19 of every 20 residents insured. Nationwide, the rate of uninsured people dropped to slightly below 16 percent, the first decline in several years. The decrease appears to be due to a number of factors, including: 1) growth in Medicaid enrollment and, 2) implementation of a federal health reform provision that allows young adults to be covered by a parent's health plan up to age 26. Massachusetts included a similar but slightly narrower version of this provision in its 2006 health reform law.
Also included in the Census data was information about income and poverty nationwide.
The data released today provide a useful overview of poverty, income, and health coverage on the national level, but next Thursday (9/20) the Census Bureau will release more reliable state-level data as part of the American Community Survey. At that time, MassBudget will provide fuller analysis of poverty, income, and health coverage in Massachusetts.