The percentage of Americans without health insurance just hit an all-time low

The percentage of Americans that do not have health insurance now sits at 8.6%, the lowest on record according to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

During the first three months of 2016, 11.9% of Americans aged 18 to 64 (those who do not qualify for Medicare) were without insurance, while just 5.0% of children aged 0 to 17 were lacking coverage, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS).

“From 1997 through 2010, the percentage of adults aged 18 to 64 who were uninsured at the time of interview generally increased,” said the release from the NCHS.

“More recently, the percentage of uninsured adults aged 18 to 64 decreased, from 22.3% in 2010 to 11.9% in the first 3 months of 2016. During this 6-year period, corresponding increases were seen in both public and private coverage among adults aged 18 to 64.”

Unfortunately, the percentage of young adults, aged 25-34, had higher levels of uninsurance than those aged 45-64 at 15.9% to 8.1% respectively. While this is generally to be expected, the lack of young people seeking coverage through the Affordable Care Act’s, better known as Obamacare, public exchanges has been lower than expected and made it difficult for insurers offering plans. The NCHS’ report reiterates just how sizable the gap remains.

Additionally, the NCHS estimates that 4.0%, or 10.8 million, were covered by a private insurance plan obtained through the Obamacare exchanges. This is up from 3.6%, or 9.7 million, from the previous survey.

In a statement following the release of the report, Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell applauded the historic uninsured rate and cited the ACA as a primary driver of the drop.

“Under the Affordable Care Act, our nation’s uninsured rate dropped in the first quarter of the year to 8.6 per cent — the lowest level on record,” said Burwell. “Because of the law, 20 million more Americans had quality, affordable coverage as of early 2016. And it is helping to bend the cost curve, contributing to the slowest growth in the price of health care in 50 years and reducing health expenditures by billions.”

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