Insurance coverage

Utah No. 1 for private insurance coverage, but big gaps remain

Data: United States Census Bureau; Map: Simran Parwani/Axios

Utah has the highest rate of private health insurance coverage in the nation — but the lowest rate (by far) of public insurance, according to new census data.

Why is this important: That leaves Utah with a higher than average rate of uninsured people.

By the numbers: 78% of Utahns are covered by private insurance — above the national rate of 67%.

  • But Utah’s low public insurance rates are even more extreme: 22%, well below the national average of 37%.
  • That leaves 9% of Utahns uninsured, above a national rate of 8.6% and the 19th-worst rate of any state.

Enlarge: Utah has the lowest Medicare coverage rate in the country, which is not too surprising since its population is exceptionally young.

  • But it also had the lowest Medicaid coverage rate in the nation, even lower than states that did not expand eligibility. (Utah expanded Medicaid in 2020.)
  • Yes, but: Medicaid enrollment has been steadily increasing since mid-2021, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The big picture: Utah was one of the only states with a high number of uninsured people despite high rates of private insurance coverage.

  • On the other hand, states with high rates of public insurance tended to have lower rates of uninsured.

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