3 Key Findings on the Shrinking Uninsured Population

The Urban Institute has released estimates of how the U.S. uninsured population has changed since the first quarter of 2013.

The Institute has tracked health insurance coverage since the first quarter of 2013 with its Health Reform Monitoring Survey. Here are three key findings on the uninsured rate through March 2014, based on a survey data analysis.

[Note: According to the Institute, it's important to note these estimates understate the full effects of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on the uninsured population, since the survey didn't capture the enrollment surge at the end of March. The estimates also don't reflect the results of PPACA provisions that went into effect prior to 2013, such as allowing people to stay on their parents' health plans until age 26.]

1. In March, 15.2 percent of nonelderly adults were uninsured, 2.7 percentage points less than the uninsured rate in September 2013.

2. Approximately 5.4 million adults gained coverage between September and March, according to the analysis. Earlier this week, the Obama administration reported a total of 7.1 million people signed up for health plans through the health insurance exchanges through March 31. However, that number doesn't include Medicaid enrollees, and it includes people who were insured previously and switched to exchange coverage. Additionally, it's unclear how many of those 7.1 million have paid their first premium, officially gaining coverage.  

3. States that expanded Medicaid to cover those earning as much as 138 percent of the federal poverty level under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act saw their uninsured rates drop 4 percentage points since September, compared with a 1.5 percentage point drop for states that didn't expand Medicaid. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 26 states and the District of Columbia have moved forward with Medicaid expansion so far.

More Articles on the Uninsured Population:
Commonwealth Fund: New Coverage Options Could Help Millions of Underinsured  
10 State-Based PPACA Exchanges With the Highest Enrollment
Poll: Half of Uninsured Don't Plan on Getting Coverage This Year 

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