Has Insurance Availability Decreased Uninsured Patients in Virginia Hospitals?

The number of uninsured patients discharged from hospitals is relatively unchanged over the last four years (see chart below). So, the availability of insurance has not reduced the number of uninsured patients. However, it is likely that it has increased the number of commercially insured patients. To be sure the increase is not related to job growth, VHHA plotted the number of non-farm employees for the same time period. The data indicate that the number of jobs is unchanged. The rise in commercially insured patients cannot be related to insurance that is available as a benefit of employment. Our conclusion is that the 65 percent increase in commercially insured patients is likely due to the ability to purchase insurance through the Federal Insurance Exchange. Going forward, efforts to provide insurance options for the uninsured should continue. (6/26/2015)