Study: Florida Ranked Third Worst in Terms of Medical Insurance

You can feel it, can't you? That dull headache at the back of your scalp; the sinus pressure when the temperature drops down to the 70s one day, then bolts back into the 90s the next. There's constant hacking from across the office.

The tail-end of the calendar year is when everyone starts getting ill — here in South Florida worst of all, because the seasonal residents and vacationers who are just arriving on our shores are packing their own germs. Making it worse: You're surrounded by uninsured folks. 

A new comprehensive study of rates of insurance coverage in the Age of Obamacare finds Florida at the bottom of the list in terms of protected people. 

The report was conducted by WalletHub. The company pulled the numbers on the insurance rates between 2010 and 2014 — before and after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, a.k.a. Obamacare. The digits were then chopped, shaken, stirred, and spliced until WalletHub had a number salad with some pretty illuminating data. 

The national rate of uninsured, according to the study, is currently 11.70 percent, so say 2014 figures. The study went on to compare the rates and numbers in each of the 50 states and Washington, D.C. The top of the list is no surprise. Massachusetts, long the poster child for public-assistance medical care, has the lowest uninsured rate: 3.28 percent. Between 2010 and 2014, the state's number of uninsured individuals dropped by 66,995. The reset of the top ten looks like this: 

1 Massachusetts 3.28%
2 Vermont 4.95% 
3 Hawaii 5.27% 
4 District of Columbia 5.28% 
5 Minnesota 5.88% 
6 Iowa 6.17% 
7 Connecticut 6.93% 
8 Wisconsin 7.35% 
9 Rhode Island 7.42% 
10 Delaware 7.77%
Florida, however, isn't even sniffing the top of the list. Under the WalletHub study, the Sunshine State is third from the bottom in terms of the uninsured rate. We fall in at 16.57 percent. The only states doing worse than us are Alaska (17.21 percent) and Texas (19.06 percent). 

Source: WalletHub

Here is the snapshot of what the basement of the ranking looks like:
40 Idaho 13.56% 
41 Arizona 13.64% 
42 Montana 14.22% 
43 Mississippi 14.49% 
44 New Mexico 14.52% 
45 Louisiana 14.77% 
46 Nevada 15.21% 
47 Oklahoma 15.36% 
48 Georgia 15.83% 
49 Florida 16.57% 
50 Alaska 17.21% 
51 Texas 19.06% 
The news isn't all bad for Florida. The study also gathered together the number of folks who have gone from uninsured to insured post-Obamacare. We posted a 695,899 change, meaning we're among the states with the biggest bumps in numbers of the uninsured jumping into the embrace of medical coverage. Texas saw a 827,997 increase; New York, 580,823.  Nationally, more than 10.6 million have been added to the rolls. 

But one last twist here. If you take a big picture look at how Florida's number have risen or fallen in the years of industry upheaval following the ACA, there actually hasn't been much of a change. The rate of uninsured in the state has remained relatively the same, the increases notched in 2014 likely counteracted by the state's population boom. 

Uninsured Rate Medicaid 2014
Source: WalletHub

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Kyle Swenson
Contact: Kyle Swenson