More seniors, for the first time in the last ten years, are without Medicaid Health Insurance according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
The percentage of senior citizens without health insurance increased by 1 percent in 2018. Overall, the rate of uninsured Americans grew from 7.9 percent of the population in 2017 to 8.5 percent in 2018.
This decrease in insurance coverage was entirely the result of fewer people being covered by Medicaid. The Medicaid program insures low-income individuals and people with disabilities.
Government experts now say that the decrease could be caused by policy changes in some states that made it more difficult for seniors to maintain and renew coverage. For example, some states now require that Medicaid recipients must verify their income more often. And some states have also adopted expanded work requirements for maintaining Medicaid eligibility.
Some Seniors: What Happens Now?
With more seniors going off Medicaid, they will have limited access to healthcare and greater difficulty paying their health bills. This will prevent seniors from getting the health care they need. In fact, seniors often need more healthcare than younger age groups due to weaker immune systems and the increased risk for chronic diseases.
A 2018 Kaiser Family Foundation report, found that up to 45% remained uninsured because they just could not afford to pay the premiums. This situation is really a classic Catch-22 scenario as aged adults now need to get health insurance, but their age group pays a higher percentage of income for health insurance.
The consequences for more seniors being uninsured is not good. The likelihood that health issues can occur, increases with age. Delaying or entirely skipping needed medical services is a serious health issue. And, for people with chronic health conditions, such as seniors, it’s a recipe for a major health crisis.