[Ed note: An optimist says the glass is half full…]
The number of uninsured in Rhode Island will drop to about 68,000 from 124,000 after the federal health care overhaul is fully implemented, a new report estimates.
The report, released by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation last week, predicts a 45 percent decline in the number of those without health coverage in Rhode Island after the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect. That would leave about 6.5 percent uninsured of the state’s roughly 1 million residents, down from about 12 percent currently.
Residents and small businesses will be able to shop for and enroll in health insurance through a new online marketplace, HealthSource RI, beginning Oct. 1. Most Americans will be required to have coverage as of Jan. 1, or pay a penalty. Many will qualify for federal subsidies.
The report said the uninsured rate nationally is expected to decline by 47 percent but that an estimated 26 million people will remain uncovered.
The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity, a conservative public policy think tank, said in a separate report this week that the number of uninsured in the state may remain as high as 97,000. Its low estimate for the uninsured was 71,000.