Date: July 9, 2012
Contact: Jennifer Sykes
The most recent Census Current Population Survey indicates that approximately 14 percent of Missourians (835,000 people) are uninsured and lack access to affordable health care. With the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold the Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is estimated that nearly 510,000 Missourians under the age of 65 now will gain coverage, providing health security for more Missouri families.
Cover Missouri, a project of the Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH), and the Health Forward Foundation (Health Forward) jointly released a report today summarizing current insurance gaps in all 114 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis. To enable the state to construct more effective policies and practice options for health care providers, the report projects how many individuals in each county will be newly insured in 2014 through the ACA, assuming Missouri adopts the Medicaid expansion outlined in the law.
“Our health care system will change dramatically over the next few years,” said Ryan Barker, MFH director of health policy. “It is difficult to predict how these changes will impact Missourians or to know precisely how many individuals will gain coverage. This report is the first of its kind for our state. Through analysis of insurance and population data, we can paint a more comprehensive picture of what is happening and what may happen in the future at a state level.”
The projections were created using the Urban Institute’s Health Insurance Policy Simulation Model (HIPSM), developed from work done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This model simulates the decisions people make in response to policies such as the Medicaid expansion and subsidies the ACA offers for purchasing health insurance through exchanges.
“These estimates can promote successful ACA implementation and preparation in expanding access to health care services,” said Steve Roling, Health Forward president and CEO. “We will recreate these predictions in 2013 when the Census Bureau will release 2011 data, which will enable Health Forward and Cover Missouri to generate more accurate forecasts.”
Projections show percentages of newly insured Missourians will vary widely from county to county.
Counties with the greatest number of newly insured Missouri residents include Jackson County where projections show 70,000 people will gain insurance in 2014, followed by St. Louis County where more than 60,000 individuals will gain coverage. Cover Missouri estimates that a residual 5.1 percent of Missourians (approximately 255,000 people) would likely remain uninsured.
Learn more about this report and the state projections for health insurance coverage.
ABOUT HEALTH CARE FOUNDATION OF GREATER KANSAS CITY
The Health Forward Foundation provides leadership, advocacy and resources that eliminate barriers to quality health for the uninsured and underserved in Kansas City, Missouri, Cass, Jackson and Lafayette counties in Missouri and Allen, Johnson and Wyandotte counties in Kansas. Health Forward has awarded over $150 million to agencies addressing health needs in the community. For more information, visit www.healthforward.org.
ABOUT THE MISSOURI FOUNDATION FOR HEALTH
Missouri Foundation for Health (MFH) is an independent philanthropic organization dedicated to empowering Missourians to achieve equal access to quality health services. The Foundation provides grant funding and education, fosters community partnerships and serves as a leading, nonpartisan voice on health system topics of importance to the community and policymakers. Since its founding in 2000, MFH has provided more than $450 million in grants and awards to organizations serving uninsured and underserved Missourians in 84 Missouri counties and the City of St. Louis. www.mffh.org
ABOUT COVER MISSOURI
Cover Missouri is a project of MFH to promote quality, affordable health coverage for every Missourian. This effort incorporates community input, Foundation research and economic analysis by state and national experts. Cover Missouri works to inform and educate Missourians on the health care system and on options for improving access, quality, and affordability of health care. Since its inception, the project has hosted 165 meetings and produced numerous publications on various aspects of federal health care reform. As the dialogue progresses, Cover Missouri will continue to disseminate information about the impact of health reform on Missourians. www.covermissouri.org