9.5M U.S. Residents Newly Insured Under ACA, Analysis Finds
At least 9.5 million previously uninsured U.S. residents have gained health coverage under the Affordable Care Act as the law's initial open enrollment period draws to a close, according to figures from various national surveys and enrollment data, the Los Angeles Times reports.
About the Figures
To calculate the overall totals, the Times compiled data from federal and state enrollment reports, interviews with insurance industry executives and government officials and various national surveys. According to the Times, the total figures represent U.S. residents who have gained coverage through the law's:
- Health insurance exchanges;
- Expanded private insurance options; and
- States' Medicaid expansions under the ACA.
According to the Times, the total represents the largest expansion of health care coverage since 1965, when the federal government created Medicare and Medicaid.
Though precise enrollment figures will not be available for some time, currently available data show that:
- At least six million U.S. residents have purchased coverage through the health insurance exchanges, of whom about one-third were previously uninsured;
- About 4.5 million previously uninsured residents have gained coverage through state Medicaid programs, according to unpublished data from RAND;
- About three million young adults have gained coverage through a provision in the ACA that allows parents to keep their adult children on their health care policies until age 26, according to CDC data;
- Roughly nine million people have purchased coverage directly from insurers, although most of those people previously were insured; and
- Fewer than one million U.S. residents who were covered in 2013 are currently uninsured because their plans were canceled for failing to meet the ACA's minimum coverage requirements.
According to the Times, the boosted enrollment numbers are validated across a number of sources. For example, the RAND data -- which was culled from a survey of about 3,300 U.S. residents -- found that the percentage of uninsured adults between the ages of 18 and 64 had declined from 20.9% last fall to 16.6% as of March 22. Meanwhile, Gallup in its national polls has found that the uninsured rate has decreased from 18% in the final quarter of 2013 to 15.9% in the first two months of 2014.
Coverage rates have also increased in individual states. For example:
- 70% of New York residents enrolling for coverage through the state's Medicaid program or via the state's insurance exchange previously were uninsured;
- 75% of Kentucky residents enrolling in Medicaid or exchange plan coverage previously were uninsured; and
- Nevada expects to enroll 500,000 individuals through its Medicaid program by this summer, a total that was not expected to be met until 2015.
In addition, insurers around the nation are also reporting increased enrollment, with:
- Health Net and Blue Shield of California -- two of California's largest insurers -- on track to substantially increase their number of customers, according to officials;
- Florida Blue on pace to significantly increase its enrollment figures;
- Independence Blue Cross in Philadelphia more than doubling its customers since 2013; and
- AmeriHealth New Jersey reporting an almost sevenfold increase in customers since last year (Levey, Los Angeles Times, 3/30).