Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Gallup: Uninsured Rate Drops to 12.9%

Gallup reports that the number of uninsured continues to decline–and projects that it will decline further. The research organization states, "The Affordable Care Act has accomplished one of its goals: increasing the percentage of Americans who have health insurance coverage." Surely those who railed against "Obamacare" must now be pleased to find out they were wrong, especially if they claim to be patriots. If they want the best for the nation, they must be gratified that millions more of their fellow citizens have health coverage, right? Especially with findings such as the following:

The uninsured rate among U.S. adults for the fourth quarter of 2014 averaged 12.9%. This is down slightly from 13.4% in the third quarter of 2014 and down significantly from 17.1% a year ago. The uninsured rate has dropped 4.2 percentage points since the Affordable Care Act's requirement for Americans to have health insurance went into effect one year ago.

The uninsured rate declined sharply in the first and second quarters last year as more Americans signed up for health insurance through federal and state exchanges. After the open enrollment period closed in mid-April, the rate leveled off at around 13%. The 12.9% who lacked health insurance in the fourth quarter is the lowest Gallup and Healthways have recorded since beginning to track the measure daily in 2008. The 2015 open enrollment period began in the fourth quarter on Nov. 15 and will close on Feb. 15.

...The Affordable Care Act has accomplished one of its goals: increasing the percentage of Americans who have health insurance coverage. The uninsured rate as measured by Gallup has dropped 4.2 points since the requirement to have health insurance or pay a fine went into effect. It will likely drop further as plans purchased during the current open enrollment period take effect. The Department of Health and Human Services reported that 6.5 million Americans either selected new plans or were automatically re-enrolled into a plan via as of Dec. 26, 2014. Prior to this year's open enrollment period, Gallup found that more than half of those who were uninsured planned to sign up, a positive sign. Gallup also found that most newly insured Americans planned to renew their policy or get a different policy elsewhere.

Furthermore, the uninsured rate may drop because the healthcare law's provision requiring businesses with 100 or more employees to provide health insurance to 70% of their workers took effect on Jan. 1. In 2016, companies with 50 or more employees will be required to provide health insurance to 95% of their workers.


Michael J. Mand said...

If you follow the logic of those who spin statistics to comply with pre-conceived opinions (as in the drop in the unemployment statistics), the lower rate is probably because so many people have stopped looking for insurance.

Jeff Tone said...

That should be Fox's next spin.