CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The rate of West Virginians without health insurance has dropped precipitously since 2013, the year of the nation’s first Affordable Care Act marketplace, according to a new poll.
A Gallup poll released this week places West Virginia seventh in the nation for its drop in uninsured residents since 2013. An estimated 17.6 percent were uninsured in 2013, compared to an 8.3 percent uninsured rate for the first half of 2015.
West Virginia’s uninsured rate has dropped by more than half — 9.3 percentage points — since enrollment began, according to Gallup.
“West Virginia now has one of the lowest uninsured rates in the country,” said Jeremiah Samples, deputy secretary for the state Department of Health and Human Resources. “More of West Virginia’s working families now have access to preventive health services, behavioral and substance-use disorder supports, and other medical coverage that can improve their economic security and quality of life.”
The largest chunk of West Virginia’s new enrollment has come from its Medicaid expansion: More than 165,275 of West Virginia’s roughly 517,100 Medicaid enrollees were part of the expansion…