Big changes are coming in early 2014 with the Affordable Care Act, which will require everyone to have some kind of healthcare coverage.
But until then, millions of Americans continue to go without any sort of insurance, putting them at risk of a host of problems—including diseases and illnesses that get diagnosed much later, when they’re a lot harder and more expensive to treat, and medical bankruptcy if they do need treatment they can’t afford. (One study at Harvard University found that 62 percent of people declaring bankruptcy did so because of a medical problem.)
There are big differences among states when it comes to insurance coverage: Gallup just released a new poll of the U.S. states with the highest and lowest numbers of uninsured people, based on a survey done throughout 2012 of at least 900 residents in each state. On average, nearly 17 percent of American adults say they lacked health insurance—a jump from nearly 15 percent in 2008.
On the positive side, these 10 states have the highest rates of insured citizens: Massachusetts (just 4.5 percent uninsured); Vermont (9.2 percent); Delaware (9.6 percent); Connecticut (9.9 percent); Hawaii (10.5 percent); Minnesota (11.5 percent); Iowa (11.8 percent); Wisconsin (11.8 percent); Pennsylvania (11.9 percent); and Maryland (12.3 percent).
Read on to count down the 10 states with the most residents who go without health coverage…
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