7 percent of Illinois residents are without health insurance

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New US census data shows that state uninsured rates climbed just slightly between 2020 and 2021.

Last year in Illinois, 7 percent of residents were without health insurance coverage, according to recently released data from the US Census.

This number represents about 875,000 people across the state who don’t have medical coverage.

When compared to 2020, this represented a slight increase in the number of people who didn’t have health insurance. That year, the uninsured rate in the state was about 6.8 percent. That said, the margin of error this year was reported as being 0.2 percent, which is notable as that is precisely the difference between 2020 and 2021’s uninsured rates.

The uninsured rate in Illinois was lower than the national average. Across the entire country, about 8.6 percent of people didn’t have coverage in 2021, according to the American Community Survey in the Census.

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It has been speculated that the uninsured rate in Illinois remained about the same due to federal protections that were issued throughout the pandemic, making it easier for people to be able to continue the coverage they already had.

Illinois health insurance coverage rates likely stayed essentially steady due to federal pandemic regulations.

Throughout the pandemic, the federal government banned states accepting additional Medicaid funding from being able to boot people from Medicaid, the state and federally funded coverage program for low-income individuals and families. Before the pandemic, Medicaid coverage was required to be renewed periodically. Some people who had the coverage could potentially lose it during those renewal times if they no longer qualified for the coverage. Others would lose coverage due to administrative issues such as failure to file their paperwork.

Last year, President Joe Biden also signed a bill into law raising and broadening the subsidies offsetting the monthly premiums for medical coverage purchased through the healthcare.gov Affordable Care Act marketplace. More recently, those boosted subsidies have been extended through until 2025 by way of the Inflation Reduction Act’s signing.

Those were both substantial steps that made it easier for people with health insurance coverage to keep what they had or to obtain more affordable coverage through the online marketplace, said a recent report in the Chicago Tribune.

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