Uninsured Rate Down in 2014

March 10, 2014

Results from a national poll show that the rate of adults without health insurance declined from 17.1% in late 2013 to 15.9% so far in 2014. This decline is equivalent to approximately 3 million people newly covered, at least in part due to the new coverage options available under the Affordable Care Act.

uninsured timeline

The Gallup poll, based on 28,396 responses by phone in January and February, found that the uninsured rate is the lowest in five years. As more Americans enroll in coverage through Medicaid and the Exchanges, the rate will likely decline further.

The uninsured rate’s movement varied amongst demographics. Individuals with household incomes less than $36,000 experienced the most decline in the uninsured rate at 2.8% less than the fourth quarter of 2013, compared to a decline of 0.8% for households with larger incomes. Africans Americans also saw larger declines (2.6%), compared to Caucasians (1%), and Latinos (0.8%).

In looking at source of insurance, ACA implementation has brought an increase in the number of people insured through Medicaid (0.8% increase, to 7.4% of those insured) and the individual market (0.9% increase, to 18.1% of those insured).

Previous Gallup polls have shown that a majority of the uninsured plan to get health insurance, and with the March 31 deadline looming, the uninsured rate should continue to decline.

About 4 million people enrolled in Exchange coverage, and 9 million people enrolled in Medicaid (although the latter includes some coverage renewals) nationally under the ACA. In California, 728,000 enrolled in Covered California, while 1.5 million enrolled in Medi-Cal, just through January 31. It’s not immediately clear how many of the enrolled previously had coverage, although the Gallup poll gives us some idea.

Read the Gallup poll’s results here.