The rate of uninsured people in the United States is at its lowest level ever recorded by Gallup, continuing a theme that first appeared amid the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
The uninsured rate among adults 18 and older in the US plunged to 11.4% in the second quarter of 2015, down from the 11.9% Gallup recorded in this year’s first quarter.
“The 2015 second-quarter uninsured rate is the lowest rate measured since Gallup and Healthways began tracking the metric at the start of 2008, raising the question of how low the rate can go,” Gallup’s Stephanie Kafka wrote.
It’s Gallup’s first estimate of the uninsured rate since a special enrollment period that allowed people who hadn’t yet filed a tax return to sign up for coverage through April 30. Gallup said the uninsured rate plummeted to 11.3% in March before staggering in April, May, and June.
Ultimately, the simplest goal of the law — one that cuts through the spin of the sign-up numbers — is to reduce the number of uninsured in the US. Here’s the chart from Gallup:
Overall, the national uninsured rate has plummeted by nearly 6 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013, when the main provisions of the Affordable Care Act were implemented. Among certain demographic groups, the decline is even steeper.
Just more than one-fifth of 26- to 34-year-olds are uninsured now, a nearly 8-point drop from 2013. And both African-Americans (12%) and Hispanics (29.1%) have seen at least 8.9 percentage-point declines. Lower-income Americans (those who make less than $US36,000) are uninsured at a rate of 20.8 per cent, a 10-point decline from a year and a half ago.
Kafka alluded to the Supreme Court’s recent decision upholding a key provision of the law, saying it would likely keep the uninsured rate on the downswing.
“Had the Supreme Court ruled differently, the decision would have greatly undermined the Affordable Care Act and likely spurred major changes in the healthcare system — and by extension, the percentages of Americans who are insured and uninsured,” she wrote.
The rolling survey asks 500 people per day whether they have health insurance.
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