HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WAFF) - Not enough Alabamians have access to health insurance and one study suggests, because of that, the state’s COVID-19 case count was at alarming numbers.
The state health officer, Doctor Scott Harris, said it’s no surprise.
Ten percent of Alabamians do not have health insurance. According to the report, uninsured Alabamians represented nearly half of the total COVID-19 cases and 38% of COVID deaths.
The report shows 21 of Alabama counties saw more than half of their COVID-19 cases tied to gaps in health insurance. That includes Dekalb, Franklin, Jackson, Lawrence and Marshall counties.
According to the report, DeKalb County was hit especially hard, with 63% of COVID-19 cases and 52% of COVID-19 deaths linked to people without health insurance.
Jane Adams with Alabama Arise said the pandemic proves it is time for more Alabamians to have access to health insurance.
“This report is so important because it highlights when you have these large areas where people are uninsured, large county populations where people are uninsured, the virus is more likely to spread around because people aren’t going to seek the care because they are worried about the cost,” said Adams. “So then, you see higher death rates and case rates in those communities.”
Doctor Scott Harris told us, the ADPH has always worked with at-risk populations to bring resources and other educational materials.
He encouraged those who do not have health insurance to visit your local public health department for COVID needs.
He also wanted this study to serve as a reminder that the COVID-19 vaccine is 100% free no matter what your health care coverage looks like.