Report on Veterans, Uninsurance, and the Affordable Care Act

About 10 percent of nonelderly American veterans don’t have insurance coverage and don’t use Veterans Affairs care, according to veterans surveyed for a new Urban Institute report (see the attachment). This report is the first to estimate both national and state uninsurance rates for veterans and their families, and to gauge how many more veterans could gain insurance under the Affordable Care Act.

Jennifer Haley and Genevieve Kenney of the Institute’s Health Policy Center find that:

  • 1.3 million veterans, and nearly 950,000 of their family members, are uninsured, making up 4.8 percent of the nation’s 47.3 million uninsured in 2010.
  • 41 percent of uninsured veterans have unmet medical needs, while nearly 34 percent report having delayed care due to cost.
  • Veterans in just four states have uninsurance rates below 6 percent—Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, and North Dakota. Meanwhile, in four states—Louisiana, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana—their uninsurance rates are above 14 percent.
  • Nearly half of uninsured veterans may receive health coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansions, and another 40 percent could qualify for subsidized coverage in newly created health insurance exchanges.

View their full report here. [PDF 408 KB]