North Carolina ranks 41st out of 50 states in the nation for uninsured rates, according to a study by WalletHub.
With the national rate of people without health insurance on the rise in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the personal-finance website WalletHub released its report on 2020’s Uninsured Rates by City.
Having health insurance is vital to the well-being of your family and your wallet. It not only ensures that you have access to the care you need, but it also can significantly reduce your out-of-pocket medical expenses. Plus, with the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to rage across the U.S., 2020 is a year that you don’t want to be without health insurance. That’s especially true if you belong to one of the demographics that are more susceptible to serious symptoms. One study found the average cost of a COVID-19 hospitalization without health insurance was $73,000.
After the passage of the Affordable Care Act — dubbed “Obamacare” — the uninsured rate for all adult Americans dipped to a historic low. But the uninsured rate is back on the rise. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the national uninsured rate reached 9.2 percent in 2019, compared to 8.9 percent in 2018.
North Carolina’s Republican-led government did not participate in Medicaid expansion under then-Gov. Pat McCrory, and under Gov. Roy Cooper (a Democrat), the Republican-led state legislature has resisted Cooper’s desire for Medicaid expansion.
With the ACA still in place but uninsured rates rising, WalletHub measured the post-Obamacare uninsured rates in each of the 50 states. For an even broader perspective of those rates, we broke the national figures down to categories such as race and income level. In addition, we conducted the same analysis at the city level. Read on for our findings, expert insight from a panel of experts and a full description of our methodology.
WalletHub compared the rates for 548 U.S. cities and the 50 states, in addition to a breakdown by age, race/ethnicity and income level. The following are some highlights from the reports:
|States with Lowest Uninsured Rates||States with Highest Uninsured Rates|
|1. Massachusetts (2.99%)||41. North Carolina (11.26%)|
|2. Rhode Island (4.09%)||42. Arizona (11.28%)|
|3. Hawaii (4.16%)||43. Nevada (11.42%)|
|4. Vermont (4.49%)||44. Alaska (12.21%)|
|5. Minnesota (4.88%)||45. Wyoming (12.31%)|
|6. Iowa (5.01%)||46. Mississippi (12.97%)|
|7. New York (5.24%)||47. Florida (13.16%)|
|8. Wisconsin (5.71%)||48. Georgia (13.41%)|
|9. Pennsylvania (5.77%)||49. Oklahoma (14.28%)|
|10. Michigan (5.78%)||50. Texas (18.36%)|
Here’s top and bottom cities.
|Cities with Lowest Uninsured Rates||Cities with Highest Uninsured Rates|
|1. Newton, MA (1.26%)||539. Houston, TX (25.24%)|
|2. Cambridge, MA (1.37%)||540. Passaic, NJ (26.04%)|
|3. Quincy, MA (1.47%)||541. McAllen, TX (26.51%)|
|4. Plymouth, MN (1.71%)||542. Garland, TX (26.60%)|
|5. Fremont, CA (1.74%)||543. Pasadena, TX (28.31%)|
|6. Ellicott City, MD (1.84%)||544. Laredo, TX (28.62%)|
|7. Union City, CA (1.92%)||545. Edinburg, TX (30.37%)|
|8. Alameda, CA (2.09%)||546. Mission, TX (30.57%)|
|9. Naperville, IL (2.20%)||547. Brownsville, TX (32.90%)|
|10. Pleasanton, CA (2.28%)||548. Pharr, TX (34.49%)|
Cary, the highest ranked city in North Carolina, ranked 144th among 548 cities in the rankings. Greenville, the second highest ranked city in North Carolina, ranked 266th.
Others in the state include Wilmington (307th), Raleigh (338th) and Jacksonville (379th). New Bern was not large enough to be included in the listings.