Poll: Medicaid Expansion, State Exchanges Yield Bigger Uninsured Rate Reductions

States that have embraced Medicaid expansion and have operated their own health insurance exchanges have seen greater declines in their uninsured rates, compared with states that haven't expanded Medicaid or set up their own exchanges, according to a Gallup poll.

In the 21 states (plus the District of Columbia) that have facilitated their own exchanges and expanded Medicaid, the uninsured rate declined 2.5 percentage points on average to 13.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014, according to Gallup. Meanwhile, in the 29 states that have taken one or neither of those actions, the uninsured rate declined just 0.8 percentage points to 17.9 percent on average.

Last week, Gallup reported the U.S. uninsured rate declined to 15.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, its lowest level since 2008, suggesting  that the PPACA is succeeding in its efforts to extend health insurance coverage to more people.

The states that chose to expand Medicaid and set up their own exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act had a lower average uninsured rate to start with (16.1 percent) compared with the other states (18.7 percent). Some states, such as Nebraska and Utah, are still debating Medicaid expansion. These conservative-leaning states could pave the way for others and contribute to further decline in the national uninsured rate, if they decide to go along with PPACA reform provisions, according to Gallup.

More Articles on the Uninsured Rate:
RAND Survey Estimates Net Gain of 9.3M Insured
U.S. Uninsured Rate Hits Lowest Level Since 2008
3 Key Findings on the Shrinking Uninsured Population 


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