While the percentage of uninsured Connecticut residents has risen significantly over the past decade, new data released Wednesday show the situation has changed little over the past few years, perhaps because of state and federal health care reforms.
The most recent U.S. Census information shows that on average 350,000 state residents - 9.9 percent of the state's population - lacked health insurance from 2010 to 2011, slightly less than in the previous two years but still well above the 8.6 percent who lacked insurance in 2000-01, according to data released by Connecticut Voices for Children, a New Haven-based organization that advocates for children and families.
The group pointed out that the percentage of uninsured essentially held steady over the past few years despite the long recession. It cited new state laws and policies that expanded access to the HUSKY and Medicaid health insurance programs and gave young adults additional coverage options.
"Efforts in our state in the past few years helped the social safety net hold firm during our recent recession," Frances G. Padilla, president of Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut, said in a statement.
The report cited a significant decline over the past decade in employer-based health coverage among people under age 65. Another major decline occurred in the percentage of children covered by employment-based insurance.
"As fewer Connecticut residents have access to employer-sponsored coverage, state and federal lawmakers should preserve health reform policies that help families maintain their health insurance when they lose or change their jobs," added Sharon Langer, senior policy fellow at Connecticut Voices for Children, in a statement.