National

Nearly half of uninsured Americans eligible for Medicaid or marketplace subsidies

Terry Brewster, 56, visits the Little River Medical Center in Little River, S.C., on June 15, 2015. Brewster, a construction worker, gets subsidies to buy marketplace coverage through the Affordable Care Act.
Terry Brewster, 56, visits the Little River Medical Center in Little River, S.C., on June 15, 2015. Brewster, a construction worker, gets subsidies to buy marketplace coverage through the Affordable Care Act. McClatchy

WASHINGTON - Nearly 12 million of roughly 27 million non-elderly people who lack health insurance – 43 percent - are eligible either for Medicaid or financial assistance for marketplace coverage, according to a new issue brief from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

About 14 percent of those without coverage – 3.8 million - are working-age adults eligible for Medicaid, the state/national health insurance program for low-income Americans. Another ten percent – 2.6 million - are children eligible for either Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program.

About 19 percent - or 5.3 million of the nation’s uninsured - are working-age adults who qualify for premium tax credits to help pay for marketplace coverage.

About ten percent of the nation’s uninsured – roughly 2.6 million people – fall into the so-called coverage gap, meaning they don’t earn enough to qualify for premium tax credits, but earn too much to qualify for Medicaid because they live in states that haven’t expanded income eligibility for the program under the Affordable Care Act.

In states that have expanded Medicaid eligibility, 35 percent of the nonelderly uninsured are eligible for program coverage, compared to just 13 percent in states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility.

About 20 percent of the uninsured – 5.4 million people – are immigrants who are in the country illegally and are barred from both Medicaid and financial assistance for marketplace coverage.

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