Insurance coverage means healthy stats from healthy states

When it comes to the low number of people without health insurance, four states lead the nation: Massachusetts, Hawaii, Vermont and Minnesota.

The State Health Access Data Center this afternoon released the report on how states are doing in cutting down on the number of people without health care coverage.

Nationwide, 15.4 percent of people lacked health insurance coverage at any time during 2012, a statistically significant drop from 15.7 percent in 2011, the report said.

Children younger than 18  was the only age group to show a statistically significant improvement in coverage, from 9.4 percent uninsured in 2011 to 8.9 percent in 2012.

There was no significant change in the percentage of people covered by employer-provided health insurance.

The District of Columbia had the largest drop in uninsureds — 4.6 percentage points.

Minnesota’s drop was tiny, but there’s a good reason for that. The state already has a comparatively low rate — 8.7 percent — trailing only Massachusetts (3.8 percent), Vermont (7.8 percent) and Hawaii (7.8 percent), although Hawaii’s rate went up.

Texas leads the country in most number of people uninsured (24 percent), followed by Nevada (23 percent), New Mexico (21 percent) and Florida (21 percent).

Does this sort of thing make a difference? Of course.

In recent rankings of  health, all of the states with a low number of uninsured were at the top of the list. All of the states with a high number of uninsureds were nearer the bottom.