More people were without health insurance in South Dakota in 2015 than in 2014, according to U.S. Census data released in September. The new data places South Dakota at odds with the national trend, which shows lower rates of uninsured individuals from 2014-2015. Overall, 12.0 percent of South Dakotans were uninsured in 2015 compared to 10.9 percent across the United States. South Dakota ranked 34th nationally.
Regionally, South Dakota finished ahead of Wyoming (13.4 percent uninsured) and Montana (14.0 percent uninsured). Minnesota, North Dakota and Nebraska all finished ahead of South Dakota with uninsured populations of 5.2, 8.9, and 9.5 percent, respectively.
Sioux City was the only metropolitan area in South Dakota that saw an increase in coverage from 2014-2015. With a 3.7 percent rise, Sioux City is now ranked number one for health insurance coverage out of the state’s metro areas, eclipsing Sioux Falls and Rapid City for the first time in recent history. In Sioux Falls, the share of people without insurance increased from 7.3 percent in 2014 to 8.7 percent in 2015 while Rapid City’s rate climbed from 13.2 percent in 2014 to 15.1 percent in 2015.
South Dakotans aged 35-44 saw the largest increase in the percentage of uninsured, jumping up to 15.0 percent in 2015 from 13.0 percent in 2014. The share of residents who were uninsured in the 25-34 year category also rose in 2015 to 19.7 percent, compared to 18.9 percent in 2014. However, 18-24 year olds actually improved their rate of health insurance coverage by 1.6 percent from 2014 to 2015. Forty-five to fifty-four year olds also saw a slight 1.0 percent decrease in the share of uninsured.
The number of individuals under 65 years old and living below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) who did not have health insurance increased slightly in 2015 to 26.5 percent from 26.1 percent in 2014. A larger increase was seen among individuals living above the FPL— up to 9.7 percent from 9.0 percent in 2015, but both of these changes were well within the margin of error.