Uninsured Rates Dropping

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Gallup just released results from its twice-a-year survey – the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index – that illustrates how the Affordable Care Act has changed the uninsured landscape.  Respondents were asked a simple question, “Do you have health insurance coverage?”  The results from surveys conducted between January and June 2015 were compared to those from 2013.

In 2013, there were 14 states with uninsured rates over 20% and now only one state, Texas, has a rate over 20%.  Nonetheless, even Texas saw a significant decrease in its uninsured rate, which fell from a whopping 27.0% to 20.8%.  On the flip side, there was only one state, Massachusetts, with an uninsured rate below 5% in 2013.  There are now seven states at or below 5% in 2015.  Notably, only 5 states had uninsured rates at or below 10% in 2013 but now half of the states have reached that threshold.

Not surprisingly, states that embraced Medicaid expansion saw significant decreases in their uninsured populations.  But those states that not only expanded Medicaid but also established a state-based or state-federal partnership Exchange saw sharper decreases than states that did not take these steps.

California, which expanded Medicaid and also set-up a state-based Exchange, saw its rates decrease from 21.6% in 2013 to 11.8% in the first half of 2015.