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Kentucky had nation’s biggest drop in uninsured residents from 2013 to 2014

Uninsured rate dropped from 14.3% to 8.5%

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 16, 2015) — Kentucky had the nation’s largest drop in uninsured residents from 2013 to 2014, according to a U.S. Census survey released today. In 2014, 8.5 percent of Kentuckians were uninsured, down from 14.3 in 2013. The drop of 5.8 percent was best in the nation, just ahead of Nevada (5.5 percent) and West Virginia (5.4 percent).

“By expanding Medicaid and establishing a state-based exchange, our newly insured Kentuckians are not waiting until they are sick to access their health care benefits,” Gov. Steve Beshear said in a statement. “They are using their coverage to seek recommended preventive health services, such as lifesaving breast and colorectal cancer screenings. Over time, this increased utilization of preventive health services will help improve the overall health of our citizens and our state.”

He added, “This step toward a healthier Kentucky has a direct link to our economic future because better health, especially for our workforce, has tangible positive impacts — fewer sick days, more production and a higher quality of life for our citizens.”

The 14.3 percent total in 2013 ranked 34th among the 50 states and Washington D.C. The 8.5 percent total in 2014 ranked tied for 14th with Michigan and Pennsylvania.

“The information from the U.S. Census Bureau is yet another independent, unbiased confirmation that Kentucky is on the path to make transformational changes in the lives and health of our commonwealth and the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians who have qualified for health care coverage through kynect since Jan. 1, 2014,” Beshear said.