Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Point in a Year, Poll Finds
The nation's uninsured rate has fallen from 17.3% in December 2013 to 16.1% this month, its lowest level in more than a year, according to the new Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey released Thursday, The Hill's "Briefing Room" reports (Trujillo, "Briefing Room," The Hill, 1/23).
The poll surveyed 9,145 adults from Jan. 2 to Jan. 19, just after the Affordable Care Act's individual mandate took effect and coverage through the law's health insurance exchanges kicked in for millions of residents who enrolled in December (Kopan, Politico, 1/23).
The decline in the uninsured rate translates to about two million to three million people gaining health coverage, according to the AP/U-T San Diego.
When the data were broken down by demographics, the segment of unemployed adults experienced the largest decline of 6.7 percentage points (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/U-T San Diego, 1/23). Meanwhile, the uninsured rate among adults ages 18 to 34 showed the smallest decline of 0.2 percentage points (Politico, 1/23).
The uninsured rate among nonwhite U.S. residents also declined, falling 2.6 percentage points. However, the uninsured rates remained the highest among nonwhites, the unemployed and young adults with annual incomes less than $36,000.
According to Gallup-Healthways, the uninsured rates have previously fluctuated, so it is not clear how much of the declines can be attributed directly to the ACA ("Briefing Room," The Hill, 1/23).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.