Florida Leads the Country in This Concerning Health Insurance Trend

How many people have health insurance? The number is declining.
  • Cities in Florida, California and Texas have seen the biggest year-over-year declines in insurance coverage.
  • There’s a notable correlation between states with high insurance costs and declines in coverage.
  • In many cities, both private and public health insurance coverage dropped significantly in just one year.

In the United States, health insurance coverage is becoming increasingly uncertain. On Dec. 14, a federal judge in Texas struck down the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, putting the already-besieged healthcare legislation in further jeopardy.

The underlying demographic data reveals an additional layer to this uncertainty. GOBankingRates analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from its latest release, the 2017 American Community Survey, in order to identify which places in the U.S. have seen the biggest drop in insurance coverage over the last year.

Out of the 20 cities where health insurance coverage has dropped the most, five are located in Florida. Out of the top 50 cities, 10 are found in Florida — the most cities in any one state, with California and Texas in second with seven cities each. The city with the largest percentage decline in insurance coverage, Boynton Beach, Fla., saw a year-over-year drop of 9.5 percent, equivalent to more than 7,300 people losing coverage in a year.

Cities With the Biggest Declines in Health Insurance Coverage

Examining the Census Bureau information revealed some geographic patterns about the number of uninsured Americans. Florida had five cities among the top 20 with the biggest declines; California had three. Missouri had two cities among those with the biggest declines in coverage, but no more among the top 50 cities, making it more of an outlier.

Here’s a breakdown of the top 20 cities where health insurance coverage dropped the most year over year:

Top 20 Cities Where Health Insurance Coverage Dropped the Most Year Over Year
CityStatePopulation*Percentage of Population With Health Insurance in 2017Percentage of
Population
With Health
Insurance in 2016
Change (Percentage)
Change (Number)
Boynton BeachFla.77,11380.3%89.8%-9.5%-7,326
NorwalkConn.88,52778.6%86.9%-8.3%-7,348
South GateCalif.95,35480.6%88.7%-8.1%-7,724
GoodyearAriz.75,66488.4%94.1%-5.7%-4,313
Miami GardensFla.113,65477.3%82.6%-5.3%-6,024
Pine HillsFla.76,70881.6%86.8%-5.2%-3,989
MissionTexas84,22867.7%72.8%-5.1%-4,296
LawrenceMass.79,22990.1%94.9%-4.8%-3,803
HillsboroOre.105,90391.9%96.6%-4.7%-4,977
RentonWash.101,08091.2%95.8%-4.6%-4,650
PortsmouthVa.88,94286.5%90.7%-4.2%-3,736
IndependenceMo.116,11487.1%91.3%-4.2%-4,877
ColumbiaMo.120,58590.2%94.4%-4.2%-5,065
QuincyMass.93,80893.5%97.4%-3.9%-3,659
RichmondCalif.109,04287.1%90.9%-3.8%-4,144
Pompano BeachFla.107,03079.5%83.3%-3.8%-4,067
HollywoodFla.152,40482.0%85.7%-3.7%-5,639
New RochelleN.Y.78,74288.2%91.9%-3.7%-2,913
PerrisCalif.77,72588.0%91.7%-3.7%-2,876
McAllenTexas141,74672.9%76.6%-3.7%-5,245

*Referred to as “civilian noninstitutionalized population” in 2017 American Community Survey

Several states with cities in the top 50 correlate with states that have high health insurance costs, as found in a previous GOBankingRates study. For instance, Indiana — ranked third-worst for health insurance affordability — is home to the city of Gary, which saw more than 11,000 people lose insurance coverage in just one year.

Don’t Miss: The Typical Cost of Senior Care in Every State

Private Health Insurance Coverage in Greater Decline

One of the most interesting points to emerge from this coverage analysis is the changes in private insurance vs. public health insurance. The latter refers the programs run by U.S. federal, state or local governments or programs in which the government subsidizes coverage — including Medicare, Medicaid, Healthcare.gov and state-level programs.

In some cities, such as Miami Gardens, which has a population of over 110,000, overall health insurance coverage dropped 5.3 percent — equal to more than 6,000 people losing coverage.

However, the decline in private health insurance coverage was steeper, with 10 percent of people from 2016 to 2017, or 11,365 Americans, losing coverage. What kept the overall decline to just 5.3 percent was the rise in public health insurance coverage, with 3,637 people gaining coverage this way.

Read on to learn how to find the best (and cheapest) health insurance.

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Methodology: GOBankingRates analyzed U.S. Census Bureau data from its 2017 American Community Survey to determine which cities saw the largest percentage declines in health insurance coverage, both private and public insurance coverage.