Rhode Island: @HealthSourceRI announces lowest-ever uninsured rate & #1 in the nation for best healthcare
via HealthSource RI (email only for the moment):
Press Release: Rhode Island Achieves Lowest Ever Uninsured Rate, Survey Finds
Survey Results Come as Wallet Hub has Ranked the Ocean State as #1 in the Nation for the Best Health Care
EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I.– A preliminary analysis of the latest Rhode Island Health Insurance Survey (HIS) shows that Rhode Island has reached its lowest uninsured rate ever recorded. For the first time, just 2.9% of Rhode Islanders are uninsured, a reduction from the 4.0% the last time this survey was conducted in 2020. According to federally collected data through 2020, only Massachusetts and Vermont have ever recorded a state uninsured rate lower than 3.0%. This news comes as WalletHub has ranked Rhode Island as the best state in the country for health care.
“Rhode Island succeeds when our families succeed – and one way that Rhode Island families succeed is when they have access to high quality, affordable health care,” said Governor Dan McKee. "I’m proud that our state has achieved its lowest ever uninsured rate. Now, as we continue to emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, we must continue to take steps to ensure families continue to have access.”
The HIS has been surveying Rhode Islanders periodically to gain insights on their insurance status, health care costs, experience getting medical care, use of medical services, and relevant demographic variables. Five separate surveys have been conducted so far, with the first survey being administered in 2012. The most recent survey was administered via phone to over 3,000 households and delivered in English and Spanish. The margin of error on the result is plus or minus 0.7%.
The American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) of 2021 and Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) of 2022 provide enhanced federal financial help for eligible individuals and families enrolled in health coverage through HSRI. The ARPA also created a new opportunity for individuals and families whose income is over 400% of the federal poverty level (FPL) to receive financial assistance for the first time. Also, due to the federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), Medicaid redeterminations have been paused for the last two years, allowing Medicaid recipients to maintain their no-cost health coverage. These two factors played a critical role in helping Rhode Island reach this milestone.
“This is an incredible milestone for Rhode Island, whose insured rates remain one of the highest in the nation. Now we must continue the work required at the state and federal levels to ensure that all Rhode Islanders have sustainable access to the high-quality, affordable health coverage that is essential to protecting themselves and their families,” said Lindsay Lang, Director of HealthSource RI, Rhode Island’s state-based health coverage marketplace.
Once the federal Public Health Emergency ends, some Rhode Island Medicaid recipients will lose access to their no-cost coverage. To help these affected individuals remain covered and protect their health, Governor McKee and HSRI have proposed, and the General Assembly has approved, a Medicaid to QHP Transition Initiative, which would enable HSRI to automatically transition some Rhode Islanders into a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) with financial support and to cover the first two months' premium costs. The initiative, included in Governor Dan McKee’s budget, is funded by federal dollars. The Executive Office of Health and Human Services and HealthSource RI are working closely to ensure this project is successfully executed.
HealthSource RI will be releasing the full findings of the 2022 Rhode Island Health Insurance Survey in the coming weeks. To review findings from previous surveys, visit here.