Fewer Americans are uninsured than ever before, new federal data shows.Quarterly numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) show that the uninsured rate fell to 8.6 percent during the first three months of 2016. That’s the lowest rate the government has on record.
States that opted to expand Medicaid coverage to include lower-income individuals have managed to cut their uninsured rate from 18.4 percent in 2013 to 9.2 percent in the first three months of 2016. The uninsured rate has fallen most dramatically for nonwhite adults since 2013. For Hispanic adults, the uninsured rate has been cut nearly in half, dropping from 40.6 percent in 2013 to 24.5 percent in 2016.
More young women are getting screened and diagnosed with early-stage cervical cancer, potentially because Obamacare allows them to access insurance benefits through their parents’ plans, according to a new study from American Cancer Society researchers. The researchers examined a large database that tracks cancer cases in the United States. They compared the cancer diagnoses among women between the ages of 21 to 25 to the diagnoses among women between the ages of 26 to 34 — both before and after the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion took effect. An Obamacare provision that allows young adults to remain insured through their parents’ plans until the age of 26 appears to have affected the rates of cervical cancer diagnosis among that demographic.
After the ACA, the diagnosis rates significantly rose for the women in their early twenties and remained fairly constant for older women. “It’s a very remarkable finding, actually,” researcher Dr. Ahmedin Jemal told the New York Times. “You see the effect of the ACA on the cancer outcomes.” It’s better to receive an early cancer diagnosis because the disease is easier to treat in its early stages and patients are more likely to survive. Even though it might not sound like a good thing that cervical cancer cases are on the rise, it’s actually reflective of the fact that more people are using their health insurance to get screened. Previous research has found that people with insurance are more likely to take advantage of preventative health services like screenings that can detect cancer as soon as possible.
Dan Diamond: Thanks, Obamacare: America’s Uninsured Rate Is Below 10% For First Time Ever
For the first time in more than 50 years of surveys, the CDC on Wednesday reported that more than 90% of Americans — 90.8% of us, to be specific — have health insurance. Until now, no major survey had ever found that the uninsured rate in America has hit single digits. The data comes from the National Health Interview Survey, which the CDC and the Census Bureau have been conducting for more than 50 years.
Nearly 16 million fewer Americans were uninsured in early 2015 compared to 2013. And based on past precedent, there’s every expectation that the uninsured rate will continue to go down as enrollment in the ACA exchanges and Medicaid keeps going up. Having more insured customers is good for the health care industry, too. Hospitals are reporting huge jobs gains, and the health care sector is reporting its best 12-month stretch of new jobs in almost 25 years.
Jeffrey Young: Uninsured Rate Gets Lower And Lower, Thanks To Obamacare
The Affordable Care Act was designed to slash the percentage of Americans who lack health insurance, and it’s working. The uninsured rate fell to 11.9 percent during the first quarter of this year, 1 percentage point below the rate at the close of 2014, according to the findings of a Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index poll published Monday. The decline coincides with the start of benefits for new Obamacare enrollees at the beginning of 2015. The latest uninsured figure from the Gallup survey is the lowest since the polling firm began tracking the number in 2008, and contributes to a remarkable decline of 5.2 percentage points in the share of people without health coverage since the end of 2013, just before the first wave of Obamacare health insurance enrollees joined the ranks of the insured.
African-Americans, Hispanics and people with low incomes saw the greatest gains in insurance coverage, Gallup found. the pollsters conclude that Obamacare is mostly responsible for the current trend because the uninsured rate is lower than it was in early 2008, when the economy was in recession. About 12 million people are covered by private health insurance obtained via the exchanges, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. A separate analysis published by the department last month estimates that 16 million fewer Americans are uninsured because of the Obamacare coverage expansion, including the exchanges and Medicaid.
Underlining a change across the nation, nearly 9 out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released Monday. As recently as 2013, slightly more than 8 out of 10 had coverage. The Gallup-Healthways survey found that the share of adults who lack insurance dropped to 11.9 percent for the first three months of this year, the lowest level since that survey began its tracking in 2008. The latest update overlaps with the period when the health law’s second sign-up season was winding down. Coverage gains from 2014-2015 translate to about 3.6 million fewer adults uninsured since the fall, before open enrollment got under way, according to Gallup. “The Affordable Care Act had three major objectives: increase coverage, slow the rate of increase in costs, and improve health,” said Dan Witters, research director for the poll.
“The first one is clearly a win. Coverage is increasing; there is no question about it.” On balance, an estimated 14.75 million adults have gained coverage since the fall of 2013, when the law’s first open enrollment season was about to begin, according to Gallup. Hispanics saw the biggest coverage gains of any ethnic or racial group. The uninsured rate dropped 8.3 points among Latinos since the end of 2013. Recent gains in coverage have benefited people up and down the income ladder. But the most notable improvement has been among those making less than $36,000 a year, a group that traditionally struggled to get and keep health insurance. Their uninsured rate dropped 8.7 points since the end of 2013.
Amy Lynn Smith: Having Faced A Medical Bankruptcy, Republican Has A Change Of Heart About The ACA
When health insurance became available through Healthcare.gov last year, Theresa had her doubts about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As a fiercely independent small business owner — and a Republican — the only news she saw about Obamacare was negative. Theresa says she’s grateful she didn’t listen to the people who told her Obamacare was “bullsh*t.” Through Healthcare.gov, she found a Silver plan for just $94 per month, with the help of tax credits. About six years ago, Theresa had polyps on her vocal cords and her doctor told her if she didn’t have surgery she could choke on them or bleed to death. Plus, there was a chance the polyps could turn cancerous.
Theresa didn’t have a choice, but without insurance her surgeons demanded payment in advance. She says the surgery and subsequent care cost her “tens of thousands of dollars.” Fortunately, starting in January 2015 Theresa will have health insurance that’s accepted by all her doctors, with a $700 annual deductible and $1,450 out-of-pocket maximum limit. It will cost her just a $20 co-pay to see her primary physician and $50 to see a specialist. She can’t wait to schedule all her check-ups, including the necessary follow-up on the remaining polyps she couldn’t afford to have removed.