Practice Economics

Uninsured dropped by nearly 9 million between 2013 and 2014



Nearly 9 million Americans gained health insurance between 2013 and 2014, data from the U.S. Census Bureau show.

Results from the U.S. Census Bureau Current Population Survey of 98,000 adults showed that 10.4% of Americans – 33 million people – were uninsured in 2014, down from 13.3% in 2013. The survey is the first to compare data from immediately before the law took full effect and the year it did take full effect.

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Although the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010, it did not reach its full effect until 2014. Citing similar data from a number of other surveys, both public and private, the Commonwealth Fund says the findings provide “further evidence the law is having its intended effect of reducing the number of Americans who lack health insurance.”

The survey also showed that decreases in the uninsured rate tended to be larger in states that expanded Medicaid eligibility. Texas, Florida, and Alaska, where Medicaid eligibility has not been expanded, topped the list of states with the highest uninsured rates at or above 16%. Overall uninsured rates in states that expanded their Medicaid programs ranged from 3.3% in Massachusetts to 15% in Nevada.

U.S. residents most likely to have benefited from the ACA are young adults, older adults with low to moderate incomes, African Americans, and Latinos, all of whom showed at least 3% gains in coverage.

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