U.S. Uninsured Rate Falls to Lowest Level Since Jan. 2008, Poll Finds
The nation's uninsured rate has been declining steadily over the last several months, dropping from 17.1% near the end of 2013 to 15.6% at the end of March and 13.4% at the end of April, its lowest level since January 2008, according to a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being poll released Monday, the Washington Post's "Wonkblog" reports (Millman, "Wonkblog," Washington Post, 5/5).
According to the Chicago Sun-Times' "Politics Early & Often," Gallup-Healthways first began tracking the nation's uninsured rate in January 2008. The uninsured rate peaked at 18% during the third quarter of 2013, but it has been steadily declining since then, according to Gallup ("Politics Early & Often," Chicago Sun-Times, 5/5).
The decline in the uninsured rate has coincided with the full implementation of Affordable Care Act's insurance exchanges, suggesting that the surge in enrollment during the final months of the initial open enrollment period was fueled by previously uninsured consumers ("Wonkblog," Washington Post, 5/5).
Latest Poll Findings
For the latest poll, Gallup conducted more than 14,700 interviews between April 1 and April 30 (Shabad, The Hill, 5/5).
According to the poll, the drop in uninsured rates among specific demographics was steepest among blacks, falling from 20.9% in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 13.8% in April (Dennis, "POTUS Operandi," Roll Call, 5/5).
Meanwhile, the uninsured rate among Hispanics remained the highest among racial groups, at 33.2%, illustrating the challenge of encouraging enrollment in the exchanges among the community. Still, the uninsured rate among Hispanics was 5.5 percentage points lower than at the end of 2013, "Wonkblog" reports ("Wonkblog," Washington Post, 5/5).
The poll also showed that the uninsured rate among young adults ages 18 to 25 -- a key demographic that the Obama administration focused on during the tail end of the initial open enrollment period -- dropped 4.5 percentage points, to 19% (The Hill, 5/5).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.