An estimated 20 million U.S. adults have benefited from “gains in health insurance” since enactment of the Affordable Care Act six years ago, the government says.
The uninsured rate for adults (ages 18 to 64) fell by 43 percent between October 2013 and early 2016, the Department of Health and Human Services said March 3. It cited a “dramatic and steady decline in the uninsured rate.”
“This is the lowest rate of uninsured we’ve seen since we started keeping these records,” said President Obama, who unveiled the numbers in a speech in Wisconsin. The president was in Milwaukee (pictured) to congratulate the city for signing up 89,000 for health coverage and winning the Healthy Communities Challenge.
Obama noted that “millions” still remain uninsured, however.
The numbers show that about 2.4 million people gained insurance since last September, near the beginning of the previous open enrollment under Obamacare.
Coverage acquisition was “broadly shared among racial and ethnic groups,” but the government pointed to 11 percent decreases in the uninsured among Afro-Americans and Hispanics.
Since the first open enrollment (2013), the uninsured rate among blacks (non-Hispanics) fell by half and among Latinos by about a quarter, HHS said.
The report relied on numbers from the The Gallup-Healthways WBI, a daily nationwide poll of adults. The report was an update from September 2015’s data.
About 6.1 million young adults (ages 19 to 25) gained coverage from 2010 through early 2016. Coverage increases for young adults started in 2010 with the ACA’s provision enabling them to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 — three years before the first open enrollment under Obamacare.
The coverage increases for young adults were “especially important because this population were particularly likely to be uninsured prior to the enactment of the ACA,” the report said.
Overall, the government estimates that 17.7 million adults (non-elderly) gained health coverage since open enrollment under Obamacare began (late 2013). An additional 2.3 million young adults gained coverage between 2010 and 2013 via their parents’ policies.
“Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, 20 million Americans have gained health-care coverage,” said Sylvia Burwell, secretary of the Health and Human Services Department. “We have seen progress in the last six years that the country has sought for generations.”
> Read the report Health Insurance Coverage and the Affordable Care Act, 2010-2016.