Increasing number of Ohioans are insured now more than ever, Ohio has lower uninsured residents’ rate compared to the national average

Columbus, Ohio – The census estimate did not account for the effect of federal tax credits, stimulus money, or public services like SNAP and housing aid.

In 2021, an expected 6.5% of Ohioans lacked health insurance, compared to 8.6% of all Americans. This places Ohio at twentieth place for health insurance coverage, a position it held in 2019 as well. The number of uninsured Ohioans decreased significantly after the state accepted Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act in 2010.

The data comes from the Current Population and American Community Surveys conducted by the Census Bureau. The national data for 2021 was issued on September 13 and the state statistics on September 15. Due to COVID-19, survey data for 2020 was not gathered.

During COVID-19, legislation passed by Congress and actions taken by some states increased access to insurance, reducing the uninsured rate in every state except North Dakota.

Nationwide, the number of people with private health insurance decreased by 0.4% between 2019 and 2021. About two-thirds of the population in Ohio has private insurance, placing it in the middle of the pack.

The percentage of Americans covered by public insurance programs such as Medicaid rose by 1.4% to 36.8%. It also surged in Ohio, where it now affects around one-third of the population. This again places Ohio in the middle of the states that have expanded Medicaid.

Considering income and poverty

Greg Lawson, a research scholar at the conservative Buckeye Institute, stated that providing Ohioans with access to well-paying jobs is the greatest approach to increase both median earnings and children poverty rates.

This comprises decreasing regulatory barriers for occupational licensing and enhancing routes for occupations that do not require a bachelor’s degree.

He asked, “How do we get financing into the community colleges so that they can care for people who are more likely to have low incomes and live in poverty?”

“That’s how you finally get more income, and that’s how you ultimately deal with poverty,” he said. “Get people producing more money.”

Raising the minimum wage has a tendency to increase salaries across the board, and making unionization easier can result in much higher earnings, according to Petrik.

The minimum wage in Ohio increased to $9.30 per hour on January 1, and it will increase again next year in accordance with a 2006 constitutional change linking the wage to inflation.

Petrik stated that Policy Matters advocates placing more money in the wallets of low-income families.

It has been widely reported that a federal child tax credit and direct economic stimulus payments have contributed to a substantial decline in childhood poverty across the nation. These policies had a “immediate effect” on the economic stability of families, according to Petrik. He stated that Policy Matters pushes for the establishment of a state refundable child tax credit or earned-income tax credit.

According to him, while poverty in America as a whole decreased, it grew among the elderly. Petrik stated that many seniors are on fixed incomes that have not kept pace with inflation, but federal epidemic relief and economic stimulus have alleviated some of this damage.

Josh Sweigart contributed to this report

By the numbers

38th: Where Ohio ranks among states in median household income

$62,262: Ohio’s median household income in 2021

20th: Where Ohio ranks among states for levels of health insurance coverage

37th: Where Ohio ranks among states for childhood poverty

18.2%: The percent of children in Ohio living below the federal poverty level in 2021

Source: U.S. Census Bureau

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