Monday, March 24, 2014

Gallup Poll: Uninsured Rate Continues to Fall

According to a report by the Gallup pollsters, the percent of the population without health care insurance has continued to fall since reaching a national high of 18% in the third quarter of 2013. These data are based on more than 28,000 interviews with Americans from Jan. 2-Feb. 28, 2014, as part of the Gallup-Healthways Well Being Index. The uninsured rate is on track to be the lowest quarterly level that Gallup and Healthways have measured since 2008.

Based on the graph below, the percent of Americans who are uninsured appears to have been declining since even earlier, from around the second quarter of 2011 when it was 17.4%. Since then (other than the spike in the 3rd quarter of 2013) there appears to be a steady decline in those without insurance.

Click to Enlarge

According to Gallup, this drop in 2014 could be a result of the Affordable care Act (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. At the end of February, HHS reported 4 million people have signed up for health insurance coverage through the marketplaces established under the ACA. With the open enrollment period scheduled to close on March 31, the uninsured rate in the U.S. will likely continue to fall.

Regionally, the overall percentage of uninsured residents (the blue line in the chart below) appears to be relatively steady at around 8% of the population. If anything, there appears to be a slight uptick in the numbers since around 2010. What happens to these percentages once post-ACA data becomes available will be interesting to see.

Click to Enlarge
To get a full review of health insurance coverage for our region between 2009 and 2012, review the table below.
Click to Enlarge