Health Insurance

Uninsured Rate Hits New Low As A Result of Obamacare

According to Gallup’s most recent data, the uninsured rate among adults dropped to 12.9%, the lowest in recent memory, on the back of the Affordable Care Act's push for coverage. 

Today’s uninsured rates are down 4.2 percentage points compared to last year, when the percentage of the United States adult population that was uninsured stood at 17.1%. This is also a slight improvement over the third quarter last year, when it was estimated that 13.4% still lacked health insurance coverage. 

The largest uptick in insurance coverage is in the self-paid or individual market, with uninsured rates improving from 17.6% to 20.6% on a year-over-year basis. 

Employer-sponsored coverage continues to be the largest source of health insurance for respondents to the Gallup poll. Over 40% of respondents reported being insured through their job. 

Remaining Americans without health insurance may find greater incentive to obtain coverage of face increasing individual mandate-related penalties. Fines are set to increase (from a minimum of $95 to $325 per person for those who remain uninsured. With a little more than a month left in open enrollment for this year, it’s likely that the coverage rates will continue to improve, experiencing a larger uptick towards the end of this period.

Gallup also provided segmented data, looking at different demographics to see how insurance coverage has change. African Americans have seen the largest gains in coverage, dropping the uninsured rate by over a third going from 20.9% to 13.9%. Unfortunately one area of outreach - coverage among Hispanics -still remains an issue. Among this group, the rate remains high at 32.4% of respondents reporting to be uncovered. While this is a decrease from the previous year, lagging coverage among the Hispanic population in the United States is a continuing issue.

Jonathan Wu

Jonathan is the CEO and Co-Founder of ValuePenguin. He reports on an array of topics, including the financial services industry, healthcare reform, and financial products for consumers. He previously worked in the financial services industry, including at such hedge funds as Avenue Capital Group.