About 4.2 million uninsured African Americans may be eligible for Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program or tax credits to help with the cost of insurance plans available through the Affordable Care Act marketplace, a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services shows.
This could be good news for the black community, which tends to be uninsured at a higher rate than the U.S. population overall. Furthermore, if all states were to expand Medicaid, about 95 percent of all eligible uninsured black people would be able to pursue more options for health care coverage, up from 60 percent.
"The health care law is working to address long-standing disparities in health care coverage and improve the health of the African-American community," said Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, according to a press release. "Through the Health Insurance Marketplace, 6.8 million uninsured African Americans have new options for affordable health coverage that covers a range of benefits, including important preventive services with no out-of-pocket costs."
The report also shows that about one-fifth (or 21 percent) of uninsured African Americans who could be eligible live in Greater Atlanta, New York City, Chicago, Dallas or Houston. Following the national trend, most of the uninsured are men and young adults. The lower costs may encourage those in the critical young-adult demographic—who make up about 47 percent of the eligible uninsured—to sign up. For example, a 27-year-old from Atlanta who earns $25,000 annually might pay around $105 per month for a bronze plan, the lowest tier, after credits.