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Census says number of uninsured Kansans drops

Published on -8/30/2013, 3:18 PM

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WICHITA, Kan. (AP) -- The number of Kansans without insurance declined in 2011, according to newly released data from U.S. Census Bureau.

More than 348,974 Kansans under age 65 were uninsured in 2011, which is about 14.4 percent of the state's population, according to the census data. That compares with about 380,500 people who were uninsured in 2010, or about 15.8 percent of the Kansas population, The Wichita Eagle reported (http://bit.ly/16WzVFc).

Compared with the percentage of uninsured under 65 in other U.S. states, Kansas ranks 22nd lowest in the nation.

Racial and ethnic minorities nationwide continued to have higher uninsured rates compared with non-Hispanic whites. That was also true for Kansas, where in in 2011, about 11.5 percent of non-Hispanic whites were uninsured, compared with about 18.8 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 29.4 of Hispanics.

Johnson County, in suburban Kansas City, had the lowest uninsured rate in the state at 9.9 percent. The Kansas counties with the three highest rates of uninsured under 65 were Stanton (26.8 percent), Seward (23.8 percent) and Wyandotte (22.7 percent).

In the last six years, the lowest number and rate of uninsured in Kansas was in 2008, when about 305,000 people in the state were uninsured.

Linda Sheppard, special counsel and director of health care policy and analysis for the Kansas Insurance Department, said the change could be related to provisions of the Affordable Care Act that went into effect in 2010, requiring insurance companies to provide coverage to children with pre-existing conditions and allowing dependents under the age of 26 to remain on or rejoin their parents' health insurance plans.

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