Survey: Oregon’s uninsured rate drops to 7%

In total, 3.71 million Oregonians have health insurance

FILE - In this Oct. 6, 2015, file photo, the website, where people can buy health insurance, is displayed on a laptop screen in Washington. A major survey out Jan. 7, 2016, finds that progress has stalled on reducing the number of uninsured Americans under President Barack Obama’s health care law. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The rate of Oregonians without health insurance has dropped to 7%, according to a survey from the Oregon Health Authority released on Monday.

This is the fifth consecutive year that the uninsured rate dropped for the Beaver State. In 2014, the uninsured rate was 9.7%. Currently, the national average uninsured rate is 9.4%.

New data released by the U.S. Census Bureau shows that Oregon has climbed from 37th to 19th in the ranking of states with the highest percentages of residents who have insurance. That climb has taken place since 2010, the Oregon Health Authority said.

In total, 3.71 million Oregonians have health insurance, but as of 2015, more than 200,000 still lack coverage.

“When people have health insurance they receive better and more comprehensive care, which helps hold down costs for everyone,” said Lynne Saxton, director of the Oregon Health Authority. “Oregon has made important gains in coverage that are improving the health and well-being of Oregonians and their families. When people have health insurance it increases their ability to have productive working lives and to complete their education.”

Over the last three years, the Oregon Health Plan has added more than 400,000 people (and now covers one in four Oregonians).

“With financial help and other reforms, more and more Oregonians are able to access health insurance coverage for themselves and their families,” said Patrick Allen, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services. “We are encouraged by this success, but we know work must continue to improve affordability and ensure a sustainable market.”

“While Oregon has made important strides in expanding coverage we have more work to do to ensure we maintain our gains and continue to improve both quality and access to care in Oregon’s health system,” OHA Director Saxton said. “We need to create a path to financial sustainability for Medicaid.”

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