MADISON, WI (WTAQ) - More Wisconsinites are relying on the government for their health insurance.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the numbers of state residents covered by public plans like BadgerCare jumped to over 20 percent last year.
That's almost 4.5 percent more than in 2008, when the Great Recession began in earnest.
Thursday's Census report said almost 10.5 percent of Wisconsinites are not insured at all. That's about the same as the previous year.
The uninsured and workers who don't get private coverage will have to buy insurance from the federal government's purchasing exchange starting in January. So will those on BadgerCare who make more than poverty level incomes.
Over a half-million Wisconsinites are expected to rely on the exchanges to meet their legal requirement to have health insurance under Obamacare.
The percentage of state residents covered by private plans dropped by almost 5 points from 2008 through last year. The new total is about 69.5 percent.