Baton Rouge – The number of adults and children in Louisiana who are uninsured has been steadily declining since 2005, according to results from this year’s Louisiana Health Insurance Survey.

The percentage of uninsured adults dropped from 24 percent in 2005 to 21.2 percent in 2007, while the number of uninsured adults declined from 654,729 in 2005 to 546,348 in 2007.  This translates into 108,381 fewer uninsured adults.  This decrease is largely attributed to the major population shifts that were caused by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, both within the state (parish to parish) as well as by the loss of people who left the state altogether.

Survey results also revealed the percentage of uninsured children declined from 7.6 percent in 2005 to 5.4 percent in 2007, while the number of uninsured children declined from 97,403 o 64,355.  This translates into 33,048 fewer uninsured children.  While the decline in uninsured children is partly attributable to population shifts, officials also believe increased awareness of the Louisiana Children’s Health Insurance Program has been the driving force behind this reduction.

“Since 2005, outreach efforts for LaCHIP have been extremely successful in helping to energize enrollment,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Roxane Townsend.  “Previously, a large number of uninsured citizens were simply unaware they were eligible to receive these services.  By providing that awareness, we were able to overcome a major hurdle in bringing down the uninsured number.”

Other factors cited as contributing to the decrease in Louisiana’s uninsured population include the strength of the state’s economy and a relatively tight labor market.  According to the survey, these factors correspond with employer-sponsored insurance, which has been covering more adults and children since 2005.

To see a full copy of the 2007 Louisiana Health Insurance Survey, click here.