Poll: Rate of Uninsured U.S. Adults on the Rise Despite Health Reform
The percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance has continued to rise even though provisions of the federal health reform law that were designed to lower the uninsured rate have been implemented, according to a Gallup poll released on Friday, Politico reports.
The poll surveyed a random sample of 90,070 adults between July 1 and Sept. 30.
More specifically, the poll found that the law has failed to reduce the uninsured rate among adults older thanÂ age 26. According to Gallup, the rate of uninsured individuals in that group in the third quarter of 2011 was 17.3%, compared with 14.4% in Q3 2008.
However, the poll suggests that the overhaul provision allowing young adults to remain on their parents' health care plans until age 26 has helped lower the uninsured rate of the group from 28% in mid-2010 to 24.2% in the most recent quarter.
In addition, Gallup found that 19.9% of adults ages 26 to 64 are uninsured, up from 18.1% in mid-2010. The research firm reported that the overall increase in the uninsured rates of adults older than 26 was matched with a decline in employer-sponsored insurance coverage. In Q3 2011, 44.5% of adults reported having employer-based coverage, compared with 49.8% in 2008.
Possible Contributing Factors
Gallup concluded that key provisions of the overhaul -- such as the tax credits to help small businesses provide coverage to their employees and the establishment of a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan program -- have not helped in improving the coverage rates among adults older than 26.
However, Gallup noted that the higher-than-expected uninsured rates could be linked in part to a methodological change, which samples cellphone-only respondents, who tend to be younger and more likely to lack insurance coverage (Mak, Politico, 11/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.