In terms of the percentage of population who are uninsured, The Seattle Times reports Washington is fairly average. About 16% of the state’s residents are uninsured, which pales in comparison to Texas’ 25% of uninsured residents.
Unfortunately, the news isn’t all good. When it comes to recent trends, the local uninsured rate has been going up, Carol M. Ostrom writes:
Washington nearly led the nation, a recent report revealed. From 2008 to 2011, the state’s increase in the number of residents without insurance was second-highest.
The latest numbers come from the U.S. Census Bureau’s recently released 2011 Small Area Health Insurance Estimates for counties and states.
Washington ranked ranked high in two other measures: the percentage of under-age-65 Hispanics without insurance, and the percentage of people under age 65 living at or below the poverty level without insurance.
King County isn’t off the hook, either. Ostrom continues:
The Census Bureau’s report also looked at counties. In Washington, the county where the percentage of uninsured residents grew the most from 2008 to 2011 was San Juan with an increase of 4.3 percent. It was followed by Mason and Whatcom counties. King County had an increase of 2.5 percent.
Washington has every opportunity to step up its game, though. Massachusetts, the first state to adopt the insurance mandate policy, has the lowest rates in the nation at 5%.
Let’s do this!