Report: More Louisianans have health insurance than ever before

Health insurance application on tablet

NEW ORLEANS — More Louisiana residents than ever before were covered by health insurance in 2016, according to a release from the Louisiana Budget Project.

The Louisiana Budget Project, a left-leaning policy research group, cited figures released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau  that show the state’s uninsured rate dropped to 10.3 percent in 2016 from 11.9 percent the previous year — a decline that came in a year when the state expanded Medicaid coverage to low-income adults.

Louisiana’s coverage gains were the third-best in the country.

The state’s uninsured rate dropped 38 percent from 2013 to 2016, thanks mainly to the expansion of coverage under the ACA, Budget Project leaders said.

“These numbers confirm that the expansion of Medicaid has been great for Louisiana families,” Louisiana Budget Project Director Jan Moller said. “Having health coverage not only improves access to care, but protects families from the financial devastation that can follow an unexpected illness or accident.”

Medicaid covers around 1.6 million Louisianans – mainly kids, people with disabilities and children. That includes 434,594 Louisianans who get their health coverage through Medicaid expansion, a program whose fate remains up in the air as Congress tries to repeal Obamacare.