Uninsured rate flat in 2015

The nation’s rate of uninsured adults showed little change in 2015, according to a new study.

Problem with health careThe Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index indicates 11.9 percent of adults went without insurance in the fourth quarter, up from 11.6 in the third quarter. The uninsured rate was “essentially unchanged throughout 2015,” an accompanying report said, as the figure was 11.9 percent for the first quarter.

Overall, though, the uninsured rate has declined 5.2 percent since the end of 2013, just before the key coverage offerings of the Affordable Care Act became available.

2015’s greatest declines in the uninsured rate have been among Hispanics, African-Americans and lower-income consumers in general. “Those in lower income households remain far more likely than those in middle- and upper-income households to lack health insurance,” the report said.

The uninsured rate is expected to show a significant decline in the first quarter of 2016, due to the start of insurance coverage for those who signed up during Obamacare open enrollment, some seeking to avoid tax penalties for the year.

The Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index surveyed 42,998 adults between Oct. 1-Dec. 31, 2015.

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