Veterans saw dramatic gains in coverage after Obamacare

The number of uninsured veterans plummeted after Obamacare began, a new Urban Institute study has found.

The uninsured rate among veterans under age 65 dropped to 5.9% in 2015, down from 9.6% two years earlier, according to the report. The number of vets lacking coverage fell to 552,000, down from 980,000.

The changes started in 2014, when two major Obamacare coverage provisions kicked in. That’s when Medicaid expansion took effect and the Obamacare exchanges opened. Most uninsured veterans had incomes that would make them eligible either for Obamacare subsidies or Medicaid.

Veterans eligible for Medicaid expansion — individuals earning up to $16,400 — saw the largest drop in uninsured rates. Prior to Obamacare, some 21.6% of these vets lacked coverage. By 2015, this share fell to 12.2%. The declines were largest in the states that expanded Medicaid.

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