Rate of Uninsured Americans Hits New Low

Love it or hate it, Obamacare has pushed health insurance coverage to a new level. Find out where the greatest expansion has been.

The rate Americans without health insurance has dropped to 11.4 percent, a recent poll by Gallup shows. The rate is the lowest since Gallup began tracking the issue in 2008.

The percentage of Americans (age 18 and older) without insurance peaked in the third quarter of 2013 when 18 percent were without insurance. It has dropped precipitously since early 2014, when the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) mandated that all adults have health insurance, and offered government subsidies to those who were unable to afford it.

Gallup notes that while the overall rates of uninsured have dropped, the steepest declines have been among African Americans, Hispanics and people making less than $36,000 per year.

They also found the number of people paying for their own insurance, as opposed to being insured through an employer or Medicare, for example, is on the rise. It went from 17.5 percent at the end of 2013 (pre-Obamacare) to 20.9 percent in the most recent quarter.

Open enrollment for 2016 begins in November. Gallup said there may be another drop in 2016 as more people sign up, but predicts it will not be as steep, since those without any kind of insurance at this stage “are likely the hardest to engage.”

The findings surfaced in a poll of 44,000 Americans over the three-month from April-June 2014 by Gallup and partner Healthways, a company that specializes in fitness and well-being research. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percent.

What’s your experience with health insurance been since the Obamacare went into effect? Have questions or concerns about the next round of ACA open enrollment? A great way to get answers to just about any money-related question is to head to our Forums. It’s the place where you can speak your mind, explore topics in-depth and, most important, post questions and get answers.

Stacy Johnson

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