Alabama health insurance
Alabama ranked 47th in annual survey of nation's healthiest states
If you live in Alabama – or you’re considering moving to the state – you should certainly be aware of the state’s perceived “healthiness.”
There are plenty of factors that might affect your own perception of the state’s attitudes toward providing health coverage and health care. We’ve put together a partial list for your consideration.
Alabama health ratings
The Commonwealth Fund’s Scorecard on State Health System Performance, 2014, rated Alabama 44th among the 50 states and District of Columbia. That means the state has dropped two spots since the 2009 rankings by The Commonwealth Fund.
Take a closer look at Alabama’s measurements.
The most recent edition of America’s Health Rankings (2013 edition) also measured the state’s “healthiness” and ranked Alabama #47 of the 50 states … down two spots from the 2012 assessment. The state’s ranking was hurt by factors that included the prevalence of obesity, low birthweight and high infant mortality.
For yet another look at health indicators that might explain Alabama’s health rating, check out the 2014 listing of Key Health Data About Alabama, compiled by Trust for America’s Health.
Alabama and Obamacare
In 2010, Alabama’s Congressional delegation opposed the health reform law. Senators Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby both voted “No” on the law while six Alabama representatives voted “No” in the House.
At the state level, Gov. Robert Bentley indicated early on that he would support a state-run health insurance exchange, but ultimately sided with the state legislature, which decided to cede exchange control to federal government.
How the ACA could help Alabama
According to figures from The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, an astounding 46 percent of Alabama’s 660,000 uninsured nonelderly residents were eligible for financial assistance under the ACA.
As of April 2014, 97,870 Alabama residents* were enrolled in qualified health plans (QHPs).
* This population includes legal U.S. residents who were uninsured, nongroup purchasers with incomes above Medicaid and CHIP eligibility levels.)
Alabama enrollment in QHPs
A quick look at the uninsured population in Alabama before and after implementation of Obamacare reveals that 15.97 percent of Alabamans were uninsured before implementation and 15.44 percent (projected) after implementation. That would suggest a .53 percent decrease in the uninsured population.
Medicaid expansion and Alabama
Alabama’s opposition to the Affordable Care Act also meant that the state opted to not accept Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. As a result, 29 percent of Alabama’s uninsured nonelderly population fell into the coverage gap. Gov. Bentley has, however, proposed a Medicaid reform plan that could mean expansion by 2015.
See a full overview of Alabama’s Medicaid and CHIP programs.
Other reform provisions in Alabama
The Affordable Care Act established a federal loan program to encourage the creation of nonprofit, consumer-run health insurance issuers – called Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs). By January of 2013, 24 CO-OPs had received loans totaling $1.98 billion. Alabama is not one of the states. See a map of the states receiving CO-OP loans