Uninsured Rate Reaches Seven-Year Low After ACA Implementation
The U.S. uninsured rate in 2014 fell to its lowest level in seven years, driven in large part by states that have fully implemented the Affordable Care Act, according to a Gallup survey released Tuesday, the AP/San Francisco Chronicle reports (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/24).
The survey found that percentage of U.S. residents without health insurance declined from 17.3% in 2013 to 13.8% in 2014 (Levey, Los Angeles Times, 2/24).
To compile the data, Gallup researchers interviewed 500 individuals per day over 350 days. The 2014 data consisted of interviews from about 177,000 U.S. adults (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/24).
Greater Drops in ACA Implementation States
The uninsured rate declined by more than five percentage points in seven states (Los Angeles Times, 2/24). Arkansas and Kentucky saw the greatest drops, with both states experiencing double-digit declines (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/24).
Out of the 11 states that saw the largest drops in the rate of uninsured, 10 had expanded Medicaid and fully or partially established a state-based exchange (Los Angeles Times, 2/24). Montana, which did not expand Medicaid or establish a state exchange, experienced a decline of 4.9 percentage points in its uninsured rate (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/24).
States that fully implemented the ACA saw their uninsured rates decline by almost twice the rate as states that did not do so.
Regionally, the lowest uninsured rates are in the Northeast and the upper Midwest, while the highest uninsured rates tend to be in the South and West (Los Angeles Times, 2/24).
Rate Will Continue To Decline, Gallup Says
According to Gallup, the uninsured rate is expected to continue to drop, as 55% of uninsured residents said they plan to obtain coverage rather than face penalties under the ACA's individual mandate (AP/San Francisco Chronicle, 2/24).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.