Kansas Uninsured Rate Improves, but Remains Higher than U.S. Rate

4 Min Read

Sep 14, 2023


Kansas Health Institute


TOPEKA, KANSAS, September 2023 – Today, Sept. 14, the U.S. Census Bureau released its latest estimates of health insurance coverage in Kansas and across the United States. The American Community Survey 1-year estimates show Kansas and national uninsured rates significantly decreased. However, Kansas’ uninsured rate is higher than the U.S. uninsured rate for the second year in a row. The Kansas uninsured rate decreased from 9.2 percent in 2021, to 8.6 percent in 2022, compared to 8.6 percent to 8.0 percent in the U.S. for the same time frame. Last year was the first year Kansas’ uninsured rate was significantly higher than the nation’s. Disparities among racial and ethnic minority groups continue. ACS 1-year estimates show, in 2022, Hispanic Kansans of any race were uninsured at a rate three times that of non-Hispanic White Kansans (additional details below).  

The 2022 ACS 1-year estimates, released today, reflect data collected in 2022. According to the 2022 ACS 1-year estimates, 247,070 Kansans lacked health insurance. The ACS 1-year estimates show that 26,367,820 were without health insurance in the U.S. The U.S. Census Bureau also reported that nine states, including Kansas, experienced an increase in private health insurance coverage from 2021 to 2022. 

“In 2022, federal and state policies emphasized maintaining insurance coverage for populations during the public health emergency,” said Linda Sheppard, Strategy Team Leader, KHI.The decline in the uninsured rate may reflect those policies. While encouraging, we know that some of those policies, including continuous Medicaid eligibility, have already started to unwind. 

The uninsured rate among the Hispanic (any race) population in the U.S. significantly decreased from 17.7 percent to 16.8 percent between 2021-2022, while the rate in Kansas remained similar (20.3 percent to 20.1 percent). Although the uninsured rate for Black or African American individuals in both Kansas and the U.S. significantly decreased, the rate in Kansas remained higher than in the U.S. In addition, the uninsured rates for Hispanic Kansans of any race and Black or African American Kansans continue to be significantly higher than for non-Hispanic White Kansans (20.1 percent, 10.5 percent and 6.3 percent, respectively).  

“The coverage gap for Hispanic and Black Kansans remains significant,” said Kari Bruffett, President and CEO, KHI. “Understanding the barriers that prevent Kansans from accessing insurance coverage, and why those barriers differ so significantly by population, is essential to tackling disparities to improve health in Kansas.” 

Additional Key Information from the 2022 ACS data release: 

  •  Disparities remain – Among Hispanic Kansans of any race, the uninsured rate (20.1 percent) was more than three times higher compared to non-Hispanic White Kansans (6.3 percent). Among Black or African American Kansans (10.5 percent), the uninsured rate was more than one and a half times higher than that of non-Hispanic White Kansans. 
  • Working-age adults – The uninsured rate for adults ages 19-64 in Kansas (12.5 percent) was significantly higher than in the U.S. (11.3 percent). The reduction in uninsured rates among this group was significant between 2021-2022, for both the U.S. (12.2 percent and 11.3 percent) and Kansas (13.5 percent and 12.5 percent).  
  • Young adults – The uninsured rate among individuals ages 19-25 was higher in Kansas (15.4 percent) than the U.S. as a whole (13.0 percent). The uninsured rate among this age group did not decrease in Kansas but did decrease in the U.S.   
  • Poverty level – Kansans living below 138 percent of the federal poverty level (the threshold to qualify for Medicaid in expansion states) were more likely to be uninsured than those with similar circumstances in other states (17.5 percent in Kansas, compared to 13.5 percent in the U.S.). Nationwide, the uninsured rate among those below 138 percent poverty significantly decreased in 2022, but the Kansas decrease was not significant. 

 The U.S. Census Bureau will release additional data with state-level detail on Oct. 19,2023. Check our website frequently for additional analysis and information. 

 Access the full ACS 1-year estimates.  

NOTE: The analysis uses data from the 2010-2019 and 2021-2022 American Community Survey 1-year Estimates released today. The U.S. Census Bureau also released data from the 2022 Current Population Survey. Estimates of insurance coverage may differ slightly between the ACS and CPS. The ACS estimates are better for analyzing state-level data and therefore were used in this analysis. 

About Kansas Health Institute

The Kansas Health Institute supports effective policymaking through nonpartisan research, education and engagement. KHI believes evidence-based information, objective analysis and civil dialogue enable policy leaders to be champions for a healthier Kansas. Established in 1995 with a multiyear grant from the Kansas Health Foundation, KHI is a nonprofit, nonpartisan educational organization based in Topeka.

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