TORRINGTON – The 2019 Open Enrollment Period officially began Thursday, Nov. 1, and residents who wish to change or add insurance coverage have until Saturday, Dec. 15 to sign up for the following year.
In 2017, 12.25 percent of Wyomingites were uninsured – a rate slightly higher than the national average at 12.2 percent, according to personal-finance website WalletHub. This ranks the Cowboy State at No. 45, between Mississippi (12.04 percent) and Florida (12.94 percent).
The 10 states with the highest uninsured rates also include North Carolina (10.68 percent), South Carolina (10.99 percent), Nevada (11.23 percent), Georgia (13.43 percent), Alaska (13.66 percent), Oklahoma (14.16 percent), and Texas (17.3 percent).
The 10 states with the lowest uninsured rates are Massachusetts (2.8 percent), Hawaii (3.85 percent), Minnesota (4.39 percent), Vermont (4.55 percent), Rhode Island (4.62 percent), Iowa (4.71 percent), Michigan (5.17 percent), Kentucky (5.38 percent), Wisconsin and Delaware (each 5.41 percent).
In addition, comparing uninsured rates for the 50 states, WalletHub provided a breakdown by age, race/ethnicity and income level.
In Wyoming, the average children’s uninsured rate is 9.5 percent (48th nationally); adults’ uninsured rate: 13.19 percent (44); white’s uninsured rate: 10.3 percent (49); blacks’ uninsured rate: 22.6 percent (50); Hispanics’ uninsured rate: 25.2 percent (41); low-income household: 18.08 percent (46); high-income household: 6.6 percent (45).
“The Affordable Care Act’s health insurance product standardization of health insurance products requirements alone, for the commercial market, has improved transparency and competition,” Ann Marie Marciarille, J.D., Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law told WalletHub. “Of course there are states that have gained more than others, particularly those that have consistently enforced the ACA provisions on coverage, medical-loss ratio and the like. Even the best laws and regulations cannot make a difference if they are not enforced. Finally, those states that have structured their health insurance marketplaces – at their discretion – as active purchaser marketplaces (e.g. California) as opposed to take-all-comers clearinghouses (e.g. Missouri) have been able to bring those savings home to consumers at a higher rate. The old saying that ‘in health care, geography is everything’ has been proven true once again.”
Eligible residents must enroll by Dec. 15 for 2019 coverage, unless they qualify for a Special Enrollment Period. Plans sold during Open Enrollment start Jan. 1, 2019.
For the full WalletHub report, visit https://wallethub.com/edu/uninsured-rates-by-state/4800/#main-findings.