U.S. Uninsured Rate Declines to 11.9% in Q1 2015, Survey Finds
The U.S. uninsured rate declined to 11.9% in the first quarter of 2015, down one percentage point from the fourth quarter of 2014, according to a new Gallup and Healthways survey, the Wall Street Journal's "Washington Wire" reports (Radnofsky, "Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 4/13).
Researchers conducted the poll via phone interviews from Jan. 2 to March 31. Respondents consisted of a random sample of 43,575 U.S. adults ages 18 and older (Alonso-Zaldivar, AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/13).
The survey found the uninsured rate is at its lowest level since Gallup began tracking it in 2008.
Further, the uninsured rate has fallen from a high of about 18% in fall 2013, just before enrollment in the Affordable Care Act's exchanges launched ("Washington Wire," Wall Street Journal, 4/13). Since then, an estimated 14.75 million U.S. residents have gained coverage, according to the AP/Sacramento Bee.
Among different races, the greatest coverage gains have been among Hispanics. Specifically, the uninsured rate has fallen by about eight percentage points among Hispanics since the end of 2013, according to the AP/Sacramento Bee.
Further, the greatest coverage gains since the end of 2013 have been among households with annual incomes below $36,000. The uninsured rate for this group has fallen by nearly nine percentage points since the end of 2013.
The survey also indicated that the uninsured rate fell at a slightly slower rate during the second open enrollment period than in the first, according to the AP/Bee. The uninsured rate fell by one percentage point during the first quarter of 2015, while the rate fell by about 1.5 percentage points over the first quarter of 2014 (AP/Sacramento Bee, 4/13).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.