The state of Washington is nearing the 1 million mark for uninsured residents. Approximately 1 in 5 Washington residents above the age of 19 are uninsured. The record of 876,000 people for this year jumped more than 150,000 since last year. According to Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, the jump is due to the 95,000 state residents who lost their jobs in 2009 and the 15,000 depends who lost coverage when those people lost their jobs.
“As staggering as 876,000 uninsured sounds, this number does not include people with jobs, but whose employer no longer offers employer based health insurance, or those who drop coverage because they can no longer afford their employer’s health plan. The rising number of uninsured has always been a moral issue, but today it’s clearly an economic issue,” said Kreidler.
The 150,000 jump amounts to a 21 percent increase from 2008. Kreidler also states that the number of uninsured will continue to increase even if the economy improves. The 876,000 uninsured includes 40,000 people who have been scheduled to be cut from the state’s Basic Health plan this year. The state doesn’t want to have to cut people from the plan so they will be raising rates instead. Monthly rates will increase by about $25. Deductibles will also increase from $150 to $250.