September 10, 2019

Uninsured rate rises in NM, nationwide

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For the first time since the Affordable Care Act went into effect, the rate of those insured increased in both New Mexico and the United States overall.

This is according to the U.S. Census Bureau numbers for 2018 released on Tuesday.

According to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, the number of uninsured in New Mexico rose from 9.1 percent in 2017 to 9.5 percent in 2018. 

Nationwide the uninsured rate of the total population rose from 8 percent in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018. The number of those insured on public plans fell by 0.4 percentage points among those with each of private and public plans.

“Of course any increase in the uninsured population is troubling – though it’s worth pointing out New Mexico’s increase was within the margin of error,” Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham spokesman Tripp Stelnicki said in a statement. “I think it speaks to partisan attempts to rollback health care access and coverage and underscores the importance of the steps New Mexico has taken and will continue to take in shoring up quality of care, access to care and essential protections.”

New Mexico expanded Medicaid coverage in 2013. States that expanded Medicaid under the Affordable Care ACt have lower rates of uninsured residents than states that declined to expand Medicaid. 

The uninsured rate in New Mexico in 2008 was at 22 percent.

New Mexico’s increase was well within the survey’s margin-of-error of 0.8 percentage points, which means the number could be 0.8 percentage points higher or lower.