Uninsured Rate Hits All-time Low of 8.8% in 2016

February 2017 ~

The uninsured rate in the U.S. hit an all-time low of 8.8% (approximately 28.2 million people) through the first nine months of 2016, according to a National Health Interview Survey conducted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect in 2010, the uninsured rate has dropped from 7.2 percentage points, from 16%. Of the 20.4 million fewer people lacking health insurance in 2016, adults 25 to 34 years old have the highest uninsured rate at 16.4%, while adults age 45 to 64 have an uninsured rate of just 8.6%.

The report found a “significant” drop in the number of adults who were uninsured for more than a year between 2015 and the first nine months of 2016.

For 2015, 9.1% of adults reported having been uninsured for more than a year. In the first nine months of 2016, 7.6% of adults reported having been uninsured for more than a year.

The record low is due in large part to the ACA’s expansion of coverage through the exchanges and Medicaid according to advocates of the ACA. Those in opposition argue that the program is a failure, with sharply rising premiums for individual health plans and out of pocket costs that are too high.

“The continued reduction in the uninsured rate is more historic good news from the ACA– measured in the quality of people’s lives,” said Andy Slavitt, former acting administrator for CMS.

“The very people who keep calling the law broken have the ACA’s track record of covering more people with high quality benefits as a baseline to improve from,” Slavitt continued. “If they stop with repeal and start focusing on improvement opportunities, we can continue to make progress.”

 

Source(s): CNBC, February 2017; Axios, February 2017; Kaiser Health News, February 2017;

 

 

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