More american adults reported having government-sponsored health insurance—Medicare, Medicaid or military benefits—in September than in the previous 20 months. The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index reported the jump to 26.3 percent of adults from 22.5 percent.
The increase in government coverage partially offsets the decline in employer-based insurance following the financial crisis and layoffs beginning in fall 2007. Since January 2008, the percentage of adults who reported having employer-based coverage has dropped from 50 percent to 45.4 percent. In the same period, the percentage of Americans without health insurance rose from 14.8 percent to 16.1 percent.
States, meanwhile, reported an average increase in Medicaid spending of 8.8 percent across all states in fiscal year 2010, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation's Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. This is the highest rate of growth in eight years and well above states' original projections of 6.3 percent growth. For FY 2011, states budgeted for an average 7.4 percent increase in spending above last year. The commission also reported that Medicaid enrollment increased by nearly 6 million people between the start of the recession in December 2007 and December 2009.
For more information, go to www.well-beingindex.com and www.kff.org.