A new report examines veterans’ uninsurance rates and assesses the potential impact of health insurance coverage expansions under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  The report shows that one in 10 of the country’s 12.5 million non-elderly veterans report neither having health insurance coverage, nor using care medical care from the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Veterans Health Administration.

Highlights from the report include:

  • About 1.3 million veterans and nearly 950,000 members of their families are uninsured, together making up 4.8 percent of the nation’s 47.3 million uninsured in 2010.
  • Forty-one percent of uninsured veterans under age 65 report having unmet medical needs, while nearly 34 percent say they have delayed medical care due to cost.
  • Just four states have veterans’ uninsurance rates below six percent—Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont, and North Dakota. Meanwhile, four states—Louisiana, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana—have uninsurance rates above 14 percent.

The Urban Institute authors conclude that with the ACA’s implementation in 2014, nearly half of uninsured veterans could have access to coverage through Medicaid expansions and another 40 percent could qualify through federally subsidized coverage in qualified health plans (QHPs) in the health insurance exchanges.

The report was sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.