Washington Uninsured Rate Drops to 8.65 Percent - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Washington Uninsured Rate Drops to 8.65 Percent

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OLYMPIA, WA - State insurance officials say fewer than 9 percent of residents in Washington still don't have health insurance.
    
That is a significant improvement from numbers before the Affordable Care Act went into effect. The state Office of the Insurance Commissioner counted 970,000 uninsured Washington residents last year. That number is now 600,000 or about 8.65 percent of the state population.

An agency spokeswoman says she believes two factors are driving the improvement: enrollment in Medicaid and sign-ups for private insurance, but outside and inside of the new state health insurance exchange.
    
The insurance department reports the individual market has grown to more than 327,000 policies. That represents about 81,000 more insured people than before Oct. 1, when Washington's Health Benefit Exchange opened.
    
The exchange also helped sign up nearly 350,000 people for free insurance through Medicaid.
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