A Department of Health report conducted by LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab is providing a new estimate of the number of uninsured residents in Louisiana.
According to the report, the total number of uninsured residents in the state as of fall 2006 was 657,027. Of those without insurance, 446,645 people earned below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level. The report also found 91,961 uninsured children, with 68,051 of these in families earning below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
The findings in the report are based on school enrollment, population estimates by the Louisiana Health and Population Survey, parish-level uninsured estimates by the Louisiana Health Insurance Survey, and census data from both before and after the 2005 hurricanes.
Some Louisiana residents who have incomes below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level qualify for government health care programs. According to the Louisiana Health Insurance Survey, 67 percent of Louisiana’s uninsured are below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level.
“Since 2003, the work by LDH and LSU’s Public Policy Research Lab has been considered the most comprehensive efforts undertaken to determine the extent of the uninsured problem in Louisiana,” said LDH Secretary Dr. Fred Cerise. “As we move forward with efforts to try to improve access to high quality care for the state’s uninsured citizens, this work is vital to our being able to understand the total costs to address the problem.”
The issue of how many uninsured residents are in Louisiana has been under debate since the LDH presented a plan developed by the Health Care Redesign Collaborative to the federal government last October.
The state and federal government are now using these numbers to evaluate the cost of providing insurances and access to care through safety net providers.
A copy of the report can be found at http://www.dhh.louisiana.gov/offices/publications/pubs-1/uninsured%20study.pdf