November 23, 2021 | Updates

ICYMI: Millions of Uninsured Americans are Eligible for Coverage Through Our Current System

WASHINGTON – As Congress continues to negotiate enhancements to our current health care system, building on what’s working has made many Americans who previously fell in the “coverage gap” eligible for affordable, high-quality health coverage and care, according to a recent analysis from Kaiser Family Foundation.  

Millions of Uninsured Americans Eligible for Coverage  

  • Kaiser Family Foundation’s analysis found that expanding our current system is helping more Americans gain access to coverage through Medicaid and CHIP enrollment, which can help close the “coverage gap” in America – but there is room for improved awareness of these options.
    • Specifically, “More than a quarter or 7.0 million of the total 27.4 million nonelderly people who remained uninsured in 2020 are eligible for Medicaid or CHIP.” (Kaiser Family Foundation, 11/18/21)
    • While our current system has a safety net built in for many Americans in the “coverage gap,” the Kaiser Family Foundation found more can be done to ensure this population signs up for health care: “Although millions of more people are covered through Medicaid as a result of the economic effects of the coronavirus pandemic as well as the continuous coverage requirements tied to access to temporary enhanced Medicaid matching funds, many people eligible for Medicaid remain uninsured due to lack of knowledge of coverage options, difficulty signing up, or other reasons. (Kaiser Family Foundation, 11/18/21

Although these subsidies have been in place since February, polling shows that only one in four Americans who are uninsured or buy their own coverage have checked to see if they qualify for the extra help. Right now, Americans are depending on access to affordable, high-quality health coverage and care more than ever. Building on our current system – including through increased assistance to help Americans navigate plan options and sign up for coverage — is a cost-effective way to expand access to care to more Americans. 



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