Today, the United States Census Bureau released new statistics showing that Louisiana’s uninsured rate dropped to 8 percent in 2018, falling further below the national rate of 8.9 percent. Thanks in large part to Medicaid expansion, 19,000 fewer Louisianans were uninsured in 2018 compared to 2017. There are now more people with health insurance than at any point in the state’s history, according to the U.S. Census data.

Louisiana was one of only 15 states in the nation to see a drop in the uninsured rate in 2018. Nationally, the uninsured rate increased from 2017 to 2018, according to the U.S. Census. In 2013, prior to Medicaid expansion, the Census Bureau reported that Louisiana’s uninsured rate was 16.6%.  As a result of expansion, that number has been cut by more than half.

“For years, we have fought to get Louisianans access to health care and to decrease the number of uninsured people,” said Gov. Edwards. “That our state has an uninsured rate lower than the national rate shows we are moving in the right direction when it comes to the quality of health – and life – of our people.

“The impact of Medicaid expansion is clear. It is affording thousands of citizens the opportunity to access affordable, quality health care. That means our people can see a doctor when they’re sick, better manage their chronic conditions and, ultimately, live healthier and more productive lives. Fewer have to suffer needlessly because they can’t afford their medications and more have a successful chance of beating serious diseases like cancer because they are getting diagnosed earlier. Expansion is truly saving and improving lives in Louisiana.”

A recent study by Tulane University also showed fewer Louisianans report they have to put off seeing a doctor or are unable to take their medications as prescribed thanks to Louisiana’s Medicaid expansion.

Governor Edwards expanded Medicaid on his first day in office in 2016, calling it the easiest big decision he has made as governor. Around 460,000 working adults receive coverage through the Medicaid expansion. For data about coverage and care provided by the expansion, visit http://www.ldh.la.gov/HealthyLaDashboard/.