The percentage of uninsured Americans dropped to a five-year low at 15.9 percent in 2014 because of the Affordable Care Act, says a new survey.
According to a new Gallup study, the percentage of uninsured Americans was at 17.1 percent in the last quarter of 2013.
“The uninsured rate for almost every major demographic group has dropped in 2014 so far,” noted Gallup. “The percentage of uninsured Americans with an annual household income of less than $36,000 has dropped the most — by 2.8 percentage points — to 27.9% since the fourth quarter of 2013, while the percentage of uninsured blacks has fallen 2.6 points to 18.3%. Hispanics remain the subgroup most likely to lack health insurance, with an uninsured rate of 37.9%.”
The Associated Press notes this means about 3 million to 4 million unisured Americans have gotten coverage under Medicaid.
Avalere Health found in its own study that the ACA's Medicaid expansion increased Medicaid enrollment of low-income Americans by 41 percent in states that allowed the expansion and by 13 percent in states that did not (the federal government provided Medicaid directly in those cases).
“Medicaid enrollment grew quickly in January, now that coverage is in effect and new enrollees can seek healthcare services,” stated Caroline Pearson, vice president at Avalere Health. “Additionally, more effective processing of backlogged applications likely contributed to the increased enrollment in January.”