U.S. Uninsured Rate Hits Lowest Level Since 2008

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The U.S. uninsured rate declined to 15.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, its lowest level since 2008, according to a recent Gallup poll.

Within the first quarter, the uninsured rate fell from 16.2 percent in January to 15.6 percent in February before dipping to 15 percent in March, according to Gallup. Additionally, the rate fell from 15.5 percent during the first half of March to 14.5 percent in the second half, in line with increasing enrollment in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act health insurance exchanges.

The uninsured rate fell by about the same amount (two percentage points) among adults aged 26 to 64 as it did among 18- to 25-year olds. During the first quarter, the percentage of adults without health insurance fell to 21.7 percent among 18- to 25-year-olds, 26.4 percent among 26- to 34-year-olds and 16.1 percent among those aged 35 to 64, Gallup found.

Since it reached a record high of 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013, the percentage of Americans who are uninsured has been steadily declining, suggesting that the PPACA is succeeding in its efforts to extend health insurance coverage to more people, according to Gallup.

Last week, President Barack Obama announced the health insurance exchanges had enrolled 7.1 million people. However, people who have signed up for health plans won't technically have coverage until they pay their first premiums, and it isn't known yet how many of the enrollees were previously uninsured.

More Articles on the Uninsured Population:
3 Key Findings on the Shrinking Uninsured Population
Commonwealth Fund: New Coverage Options Could Help Millions of Underinsured
Uninsured Rate Drops to 16% 

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