Facts and Stats 2018: U.S. Census Data Analysis on Health Care

New data released by the Census Bureau show that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is working in Rhode Island and the country.

The percentage of uninsured Rhode Islanders in 2017 was 4.6 percent, compared with 4.3 percent in the previous year and still less than half the 2013 rate before the ACA went into effect. Under the ACA’s Medicaid expansion, Rhode Islanders with incomes just above the federal poverty level became eligible for coverage for the first time while those with higher incomes could purchase coverage through HealthSource RI, the state's health insurance exchange. Nationally, 8.7 percent of Americans were uninsured in 2017, down from 14.5 percent prior to the ACA.

In 2017, Medicaid expansion allowed 75,000 single adults with income marginally above the poverty line to have health insurance coverage, representing 23% of the Medicaid-insured population. The balance of the Medicaid-insured included: 20,000 seniors (6%), 32,000 adults with disabilities (10%) and 12,000 children with disabilities (4%). The majority (51%) of Medicaid enrollees were pregnant women, children and their families (166,000). For more information about the Medicaid program, see Medicaid Matters in Rhode Island:


The majority of Rhode Islanders continue to have coverage through their employer, or purchase on their own, including people who buy through HSRI. Medicare provides coverage to people age 65 or older or who have been disabled for two years. Medicaid coverage is available to people whose income is below the applicable limit: children (266% FPL); pregnant women (258% FPL) parents (141% FPL); single adults (138% FPL); seniors and adults with disabilities (100% FPL). There is also a resource limit for seniors and adults with disabilities.