Commissioner reports record 21 percent spike in state's uninsured

Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler revealed in a news conference this morning that last year’s 726,000 uninsured has spiked 21 percent to a record 876,000.

According to Kreidler, 150,000 Washington residents are or will become uninsured this year. This number includes:

— 95,000 workers who lost health insurance when they lost their jobs;

— Their 15,000 dependents who have lost coverage as well;

— And the 40,000 people scheduled to be cut from the state’s Basic Health plan this year.

To help put this in perspective, Kreidler listed the cities whose combined populations equal the new number of uninsured. They are Tacoma, Spokane, Vancouver, Everett, Bellingham, Wenatchee, Yakima, and Port Angeles.

“As staggering as 876,000 uninsured sounds, this number does not include people with jobs, but whose employer no longer offers insurance, or those who drop coverage because they can no longer afford their employer’s health plan,” he added. “The rising number of uninsured has always been a moral issue, but today it’s clearly an economic issue.”

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