March 10, 2014, 07:07 am
Rate of uninsured ticks down, Gallup finds
By Mario Trujillo
The percentage of uninsured people living in the United States continued to tick down and currently stands at 15.9 percent, according to a Gallup poll released Monday.
Last month, Gallup recorded that number at 16 percent, which, at the time, amounted to the lowest level in the last five years. The uninsured rate in the final quarter of 2013 stood at 17.1 percent — a drop of 1.2 percent.
The rate had hit an all-time high of 18 percent in the third quarter last year.
The rate has fallen fastest with people making less than $36,000, dropping 2.8 percent. Black individuals have also seen a drop of 2.6 percent.
Hispanic people continue to be the most likely demographic to not have health insurance, with their uninsured rate standing at 37.9 percent.
The uninsured rate has fallen the slowest with young people aged 18 to 25. The uninsured rate stands at 23 percent and has declined only half a percentage point since the last quarter.
The Department of Health and Human Services said last month that 27 percent of ObamaCare enrollees were young people. They are critical to the solvency of the healthcare exchanges. Independent studies have found a 40 percent balance of this demographic is optimal.
The rate of uninsured has fallen 1.6 percent with people aged 26 to 34, and dropped 1.7 percent with those aged 35 to 64.
“This drop could be a result of the ACA, which aims to provide healthcare coverage to more Americans through multiple provisions, including federal and state healthcare marketplaces where Americans can purchase health insurance coverage at competitive rates,” Gallup said in an analysis.
A total of 4 million people have enrolled through the healthcare exchanges, with at least 700,000 enrolling through February, less than a month until the March 31 deadline to enroll or pay a fine.
The survey has polled more than 28,000 since early January and has a 1 percent margin of error.