Maine’s Real Uninsured Rate – Less Than 1 Person in 20
The National Center for Health Statistics released a report last month finding that fewer than 1 person in 20 in Maine has been uninsured for more than a year (half the U.S. average and half that reported last fall for Maine by the U.S. Census Bureau, page 22 of the report). However, Maine fares poorly with regards to adults with private health insurance – just 65% of Maine adults have private insurance compared with 70% nationally and 78% in nearby Connecticut (page 14).
Last fall, I authored a report on Maine’s uninsured rate using U.S. Census Bureau figures, which tend to report the uninsured at that moment in time rather than the longer-term uninsured.
Given the very low number of longer-term uninsured adults in Maine and our low rate of people with private health insurance, maybe the public policy focus should be on expanding private health insurance choices, competition and enrollment and not on further expansions of public programs like Medicaid.