The Latest on the Rate of Uninsurance

The Latest on the Rate of Uninsurance

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The Latest on the Rate of Uninsurance
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Calendar14 April 2015

A recent report from the Gallup-Healthways survey that found only 11.9% of adults did not have health insurance for the first three months of this year, the lowest level of uninsurance since the survey began tracking it in 2008. There were a number interesting details from The New York Times article covering the survey results. First, as expected, the uninsured rate declined more slowly in this most recent sign-up period than in the first open enrollment season (by 1 percentage point, compared to 1.5 points last time). The open enrollment period was shorter this year, but it’s also likely that those who wanted coverage the most were the first to sign up, and those who remain without insurance are less motivated, less aware of the exchange, or lack the means to pay for coverage. Given the slow-down in year two, one wonders how long it will take — or what it will take — to get all the way to the goal of universal coverage. Second, while people at all income levels have used the exchange, the biggest gains were among those making less than $36,000 — a group that has had a hard time finding and keeping health insurance in the past. Their uninsured rate dropped 8.7 points since the end of 2013. Most of these people would have qualified for the federal subsidy, now at risk pending the decision of the Supreme Court in King v. Burwell.


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