Virginia’s health safety net — those who provide care to the Commonwealth’s uninsured and medically underserved — is being stretched as never before.
- In the past two years, Virginia’s free clinics and community health centers took on an additional 31,000 uninsured patients — a 21 percent increase.
- Community health centers reported that a record-breaking 39 percent of all patients were uninsured last year.
- Free clinics reported up to a four-month wait for patients seeking a first appointment. Some have instituted lotteries to determine who can receive care. Other clinics are simply unable to accept new patients because of capacity and/or resource limitations.
- To help address these challenges, VHCF made 56 grants totaling $4.9 million in FY16, helping to pay for 29 health providers who treated 19,000 uninsured Virginians.
For detailed demographic information on Virginia’s uninsured, there is no better resource than the Virginia Health Care Foundation’s latest Profile of the Uninsured completed in May 2016. This in-depth analysis of the state’s uninsured provides data on income, employment status, race, ethnicity, age and citizenship, as well as providing a snapshot of where, in the state, the highest concentration of uninsured Virginians live. Key findings of the report include:
- 12.5% of Virginians under age 65 are without medical insurance – equaling 874,000 uninsured Virginians.
- More than 15 percent of Virginians ages 19 to 64 years of age had no health insurance (15.1%) — (759,000 non-elderly adult Virginians).
- More than 75 percent of all uninsured Virginians are part of working families (76.6%) — nearly half (49.6%) with at least one full time worker and 18.3 percent with one part-time worker.
- Uninsured Virginians represent every population in Virginia: 44.3 percent are white non-Hispanic, 23.9 percent are African American/Black, 21.4 percent are Hispanic, 7.4 percent are Asian/Pacific Islander and 3 percent identify themselves as “other” or as a member of multiple racial groups..
In addition to VHCF’s Profile of the Uninsured, other resources on the state of health coverage in Virginia include:
The Virginia Atlas of Community Health is an online source of community health indicators for Virginia. The Atlas also provides a platform for creating and interacting with maps of community health indicators at various geographic levels.
The 2012 Virginia Health Equity Report draws attention to health inequities among Virginians of varying socioeconomic, racial/ethnic, and urban/rural backgrounds. It recommends various inter-sectoral strategies and collaboration, for promoting health equity in Virginia. It provides a foundation on which partners and stakeholders can develop new plans/strategies and also receive/provide education on the Social Determinants of Health (SDOH), with the goal of shaping policy and decision-making that promotes health equity in Virginia.
The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis Care for the Commonwealth: The Impact of Health Insurance Reform on Virginia, and New Census Data Shows Growing Poverty in Virginia conclude:
- Virginia is one of the 10 wealthiest states in the country, yet fails to provide adequate support for those who cannot access or afford health coverage. Despite its high per-capita income, Virginia ranks 23rd nationwide in the number of uninsured.
- Individuals in Virginia pay a higher percentage of the premium cost for employer-provided insurance than workers in any other state in the country and are in the top 10 in the percentage paid for family workplace insurance. (Prior to health reform implementation)
- Virginia ranks 48th in per-capitaMedicaid expenditures, withsome of the most restrictive eligibility standards for both Medicaid and FAMIS, which provides health insurance for children and pregnant women.
- Virginia ranks 44th in income eligibility for parents in Medicaid and 43rd in eligibility for children’s coverage. A working parent must earn less than $6,000 a year to be eligible for coverage through Medicaid in Virginia.
- The percentage of Virginians who get health insurance at work has steadily declined over the last decade.
- While the number of uninsured nationally has fallen, the number of uninsured Virginians continues to climb.
- The number of working Virginians getting health insurance through their job has decreased: in 2006, 66.7% received coverage through their jobs while, in 2007, only 61.9% did.
- Although Virginia has a lower uninsured rate than the national average, the percentage of uninsured has significantly increased.
- Virginia’s employer provided health insurance coverage substantially declined in 2007. Only 61.9 percent of Virginians had health insurance through their employer in 2007, 4.8 percentage points less than in 2006.
Dying for Coverage in Virginia, a 2008 report by Families USA, estimated that:
- As many as 10 working-age Virginians die each week because they lack health insurance — most from diseases that could have been treated easily if caught early.
- Between 2000 and 2006, an estimated 3,200-plus Virginians aged 25-64 died because they did not have health insurance.
Virginia Performs provides data on a number of health-related (and other) measures, including Virginia health insurance statistics. The Virginia Performs website offers comparisons of health insurance statistics between regions within Virginia and against neighboring states.
Healthcare for All Virginians developed a Scorecard that shows, among other findings, that Virginia ranks near the bottom, nationwide, in the number of uninsured children. In addition, Virginia’s workers pay the greatest share of individual premiums in the nation.