Uninsured rates down over all demographic categories

Health insurance coverage has consistently improved across a wide range of demographic categories, including age, race and ethnicity, geographic location (i.e., urban vs. rural), and income, since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) reached this conclusion based on an analysis of National Health Interview Survey data from the National Center for Health Statistics, from 2010 to 2015. The ASPE analysis also found substantially larger improvements in health coverage in states that have expanded Medicaid as opposed to states that have not yet expanded Medicaid, particularly for low-income individuals and racial and ethnic minorities.

Age. The ASPE found that for all ages the uninsured rate dropped from 16 percent in 2010 to 8.6 percent in early 2016. When the ASPE examined the uninsured rate for non-elderly adults (less than 65 years of age), from 2010 to 2015, it found that it dropped for all age groups:

• The 18 to 25 age group fell 52 percent (from 32 to 15 percent).

• The 26 to 34 age group fell 36 percent (from 28 to 18 percent).

• The 35 to 54 age group fell 39 percent (from 20 to 12 percent).

• The 55 to 64 age group fell 40 percent (from 13 to 8 percent).

Race and ethnicity. The ASPE’s examination of the uninsured rate for non-elderly adults by race and ethnicity, from 2010 to 2015, found that it decreased for all groups:

• Non-Hispanic Asians fell 59 percent (from 19 to 8 percent).

• Non-Hispanic Blacks fell 47 percent (from 27 to 15 percent).

• Non-Hispanic Whites fell 40 percent (from 16 to 9 percent).

• Hispanics fell 35 percent (from 43 to 28 percent).

Geographic location. The ASPE also examined the uninsured rate, from 2010 to 2015, for non-elderly adults based on whether they lived in urban (metropolitan) or rural (non-metropolitan) settings. It found that there was a 42 percent drop (from 22 to 13 percent) for urban dwellers and a 39 percent drop (from 25 to 15 percent) for rural dwellers. Income. The percent reductions in the uninsured rate declined for every income group, according to the ASPE analysis. The analysis found that the percentage decrease in the uninsured rate by income group for non-elderly adults were as follows:

• For income less than 100 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), the reduction was 39 percent (from 42 percent to 26 percent).

• For income between 100 and 125 percent of the FPL, the reduction was 48 percent (from 46 percent to 24 percent).

• For income between 125 to 250 percent of FPL, the reduction was 41 percent (from 38 percent to 22 percent).

• For income between 250 and 400 percent of the FPL, the reduction was 37 percent (from 19 percent to 12 percent).

• For income greater than 400 percent of the FPL, the reduction was 42 percent (from 6 percent to 4 percent).

Total adults gaining coverage. The ASPE previously estimated in March 2016 that 20 million adults gained health coverage through early 2016, a 2.4 million increase over its September 2015 estimate.

SOURCE: ASPE Issue Brief, September 29, 2016

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