The percentage of Louisianans without health insurance coverage increased by nearly a full percentage point in 2019 over the previous year, according to data released Tuesday by the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Louisiana’s uninsured rate increased from 8% to 8.9%, while the national uninsured rate increased from 8.9% to 9.2%. Both increases, calculated by the bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS), are considered statistically significant. 

“Louisiana’s historic progress in reducing its uninsured rate has unfortunately stalled, and the numbers are heading in the wrong direction,” LBP Policy Director Stacey Roussel said. “Unfortunately, the trend in Louisiana mirrors one we are seeing around the country. It should serve as a wakeup call to Louisiana and the rest of our nation as we combat the Covid-19 public health emergency.”

The annual survey found that 41,000 fewer Louisianans were covered by health insurance in 2019 than the year before. In 2019, there were 404,000 residents who lacked health insurance, up from 363,000 in 2018.  

The data are a snapshot from 2019, and does not reflect changes to health care coverage as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the resulting economic recession. But the numbers come amid years of effort by President Donald Trump’s administration to undermine the Affordable Care Act. 

Despite these efforts, Louisiana’s uninsured rate remains below the national average, and is very low by historical standards. The uninsured rate has fallen dramatically since Louisiana expanded Medicaid eligibility in 2016 to include low-income adults.