New State-Level Census Data Shows Many Working Mississippians Lack Health Care Coverage

For Immediate Release 
September 13, 2012
Contact: Krista Buckhalter
Office: (601) 944-9320
                                                                         E-mail: [email protected]

 New State-Level Census Data Shows Many Working Mississippians Lack Health Care Coverage  
Findings Emphasize Urgency for State to Fully Implement Health Care Reform 

JACKSON, MS – New Census Bureau data reveal that many Mississippians lacked health insurance coverage in 2011.

• One in five Mississippians under age 65 went without health insurance in 2011.  An estimated 538,000 non-elderly Mississippians – or 21.2% — did not have health insurance in 2011. 

• Mississippi has one of the lowest rates in the country of residents who get health insurance through their jobs, and that share has declined significantly over the last decade. Fifty-two percent of Mississippians and their families carried health insurance through their employer (51.6%) in 2011 compared to 60.4% in 2000. 

• The share of Mississippians without health insurance is much higher than it was at the beginning of the decade. In 2000, close to 17 percent of Mississippians went without health insurance compared to 21 percent in 2011.

The findings emphasize the urgency for the state to fully implement health care reform and to expand Medicaid eligibility to more of the state’s residents.
“Medicaid expansion remains an incredibly good deal for the state of Mississippi. The policy will bring significant resources into the state, create jobs and improve the health of hundreds of thousands of Mississippians” said Ed Sivak of the Mississippi Economic Policy Center.
Despite high unemployment in Mississippi, the majority of adults without insurance (58%) are working. Mississippi has an opportunity to shrink the number of its working adults without health insurance by expanding Medicaid eligibility and establishing health insurance exchanges, so that many more Mississippians can access quality medical care. The federal government will pay for the vast majority of the cost of expanding Mississippi’s Medicaid program, but it is up to state lawmakers to decide whether to adopt changes to Medicaid coverage.
“We have a unique chance to expand the number of people with health insurance, create a healthier Mississippi, and tap billions in federal funds to create thousands of jobs in the health care industry. Our years of experience financing health centers and hospitals around the state that create quality jobs and ensure access to care across Mississippi makes it clear that we simply cannot let this opportunity pass,” said Bill Bynum CEO of Hope Enterprise Corporation.

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