An all-time record 15.9 percent of working-age Pennsylvanians -- representing some 1.3 million adults -- are without health insurance, according to a new analysis by the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.
Overall the number of uninsured Pennsylvanians increased by 11 percent from 2011 to 2012, while nationally the number decreased by 1.4 percent.
The numbers, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, reflect a troubling trend in health care insurance, which people traditionally received through their employer.
"We continue to see a dangerous erosion of employer-based coverage," said Andy Carter, president and CEO of the Hospital and Healthsystem Association that represents the interests of nearly 240 health facilities.
"The number of Pennsylvanians covered by private, employer-based plans hit an all-time low of 59.5 percent in 2012," he said.
And that's not solely because people are out of work, he added.
"Three out of every 4 uninsured Pennsylvanians live in a household with at least one working adult, and nearly 4 out of 5 live in Pennsylvania's suburban and rural regions," Mr. Carter said.
The association has advocated for the expansion of Medicaid as outlined under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
Republican Gov. Tom Corbett has instead proposed a program, Healthy PA, that would use federal funds offered for Medicaid expansion to restructure the program that insures low-income Pennsylvanians.
That proposal is currently under review by officials at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Steve Twedt: email@example.com or 412-263-1963. First Published October 15, 2013 8:00 PM