ATLANTA – Rhode Island has the highest percentage of uninsured adults in New England, according to the 2009 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The agency released a map of uninsured adults in its Vital Signs’ Access to Health Care report this week, noting that new 2010 estimates “show that the number of Americans without health insurance is growing, affecting middle-income Americans as well as those living in poverty.”
About 50 million adults – between the ages of 18 and 64 – had no health insurance for some part of the past 12 months while about 30 million had gone even longer without coverage. On average, 1.1 million more adults go without health care each year, the CDC said, noting about half were in the “middle-income” range ($43,000 to $65,000 for a household of four).
The CDC noted that the uninsured are more likely to skip medical care based on cost concerns which can lead to poorer health, higher long-term health care costs and early death.
Rhode Island’s percentage of uninsured adults registers in the 13.9 percent to 21.4 percent range while the rest of New England sees a rate between 6.2 percent and 13.8 percent. Regionally, New York and New Jersey had similar rates to the Ocean State.
Massachusetts, with its strong state policies on coverage, noted 6 percent of its residents were uninsured, while Texas had one of the highest rates in the country at 29 percent.
More than 40 percent of uninsured adults who had high blood pressure, asthma or diabetes reported they had skipped care because of costs in 2009.
Thirteen of the 50 states were in the highest range on the CDC’s map, between 21.5 percent and 29.1 percent.
The CDC noted that the Affordable Care Act is projected to extend health insurance for up to 94 percent of people by 2019.
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