The Healthy People 2020 target to increase the proportion of persons with health insurance = 100%. Washoe County = 90.8%, as estimated by the 2015 American Community Survey, improving to 91% in 2016 compared to 91.4% for the US, but dropped to 90.1% in 2017 compared to 91.3% for the US..
As the number of persons without health insurance rises, the economic impact on healthcare providers, and the health care industry across Nevada, declines significantly.
Although the percentage of Washoe County uninsured has remained slightly below the state percentages, little improvement has been achieved until recently. Unemployed families often can’t afford to pay for their health insurance and are resorting to Medicaid. Working families without health benefits have even less options. Monthly premium estimates for an average family of four are estimated at more than $1,000 per month, while the average unemployment check is $1,300 per month, leaving little for basic needs, let alone health insurance. This is a complex problem since the healthier the workforce, the lower the employer paid insurance premiums.
The Affordable Care Act addresses some of these issues, but only full-time workers must be covered by larger businesses (more than 30-hours per week or 130-hours per month). State exchanges, such as Nevada’s offer new alternatives to the part-time and unemployed. CDC’s Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) survey reports the percentage of adults 18-64 “having any kind of health care coverage. Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System.
- Washoe County <18 starting 2009 (prior ≤18); <19 starting 2017