Americans Without Health Insurance Drop

Uninsured Rate Drops

Uninsured Rate Drops

A new survey indicates that the number of Americans without any form of insurance has dropped dramatically since the introduction of the Affordable Healthcare Act by the Obama administration. That includes millions who have never had health insurance before.

In the last quarter of 2013 the number of adults that lacked coverage was 18% and that figure dropped to 14.7% in the last part of March. That equates to about 8 million people gaing health insurance since September last year. That also adjusts for cancellations of policies that may have occurred when the new laws forced the removal of plans that did not meet the legislation’s requirements.

The poll was conducted by Gallup, who have a long history of monitoring the state of health care in the United States, including the progress of Medicare and Medicaid. The results are a slap in the face to pundits who said the law has not done anything to increase participation in health insurance.

According to Gallup researchers – “The uninsured rate has been falling since the fourth quarter of 2013 … a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage,”

Under the Affordable Healthcare Act, insurance companies could no longer turn away sick individuals who may have had pre-existing conditions. Many of the newly insured may in fact be people who could not find insurance previously.

Under the act, in many states low income Americans could also sign up for Medicaid coverage for the first time. The survey doesn’t even cover the full extent of the increase in the number of insured because many Americans gained coverage before September.

An estimated 3 million children gained the coverage of their parent’s health care plans which they retain until they turn 26.

The number of uninsured has always been relatively high in the United States, but it became worse under the George W Bush administration as the economy slid into recession and many people could no longer afford it, or lost their employment.

It may in fact be a number of years before we know the full impact of the Affordable Health Care act, as people adjust their insurance plans and decide on what level of coverage they think is appropriate. There is a distinct possibility that many of the new signatories to health insurance may not remain covered for more than a couple of years and instead return to the pool of uninsured.

In some states certain provisions like the Medicaid changes are also being rolled out late, so there will be a boost to the insured rate there in the coming months. Additionally, many people who began applying for insurance coverage by March 31 may not have actually completed their application and have until April 15 to do so. There could be many more thousands who jumped in at the last minute and will not show up in the insurance figures yet.

Gallup said this may result in another drop to the uninsured rate in the 2nd quarter of 2014.

According to the survey, the greatest gain to the insured rate was in African, Latino households who could suddenly access cheaper health care plans. Households earning less than $36’000 a year also demonstrated a large gain in insurance rates. They were all groups that the Obama administration did expect large gains in, so they have come to fruition.

Gallup isn’t the only poll reflecting these gains with recent polls by the Times and Rand Corp also showing a drop in the uninsured rate.

Health Insurance Enrollment Deadline Soon!

Health Insurance Deadline Approaches

Health Insurance Deadline Approaches

The March 31 enrollment deadline for obtaining a private health insurance plan is now only a few weeks away! That means if you wish to purchase a subsidized health insurance policy and avoid any penalties, you should make sure you obtain health insurance as soon as possible.

There is a hotline set up (1-800-318-2596) for applicants who have questions about the process as well as providing a number of details on the website. The website also provides a simple state selector so you can visit the insurance marketplace in your state:

Most states have launched advertising campaigns to urge people to enrol for health insurance now and obtain those cheaper plans. Subsidies are available for people earning between 100% and 400% of the poverty rate – the exact figure depends upon your state and selected insurance plan.

If you are having issues understanding the insurance requirements, any medical facility will be able to point you in the direct of a local insurance broker or “insurance navigator” who is a trained social worker.

After March 31, applicants for a private policy must wait until Oct. 1, the start of the enrollment window for 2015 coverage. People on Medicaid do not face a deadline and can apply at any time.

Recent figures have seen health insurance application rates explode, with thousands of people rushing to enroll before the cutoff date. So far 4.2 million people have enrolled across the country via government portals, with 1.14 million of those happening in January and 0.94 million in February. Between October 2013 and the start of March this year, over 430’000 people enrolled in Washington. In Idaho over 40’000 people have used the state website to purchase health insurance, a good figure given their lower population and pre-existing insurance levels.

Nearly 300’000 Texans have bough insurance on the marketplace since October 1, a rate lower than expected. The state has one of the lowest insurance rates in the country and a state senator who is strongly against the healthcare plan from Barack Obama.

Most Uninsured Americans Say They Will Get Insurance

Obamacare Deadline Approaches

Obamacare Deadline Approaches

In a new poll by Gallup, most uninsured Americans indicated that they would get insurance rather than pay a fine. 55% of uninsured Americans said that they would prefer to pay insurance premiums rather than a fine, slightly down from the 63% from last fall.

Gallup has been tracking uninsured American’s attitudes towards insurance and particularly “Obamacare”, also known as the Affordable Health Care Act, that aims to get more people onto health insurance. The polling group talked to more than 1500 uninsured adults in February to obtain these figures.

Gallup says the demographic of people who are in the uninsured group of Americans is constantly changing, so it’s views reflect a wide variety of financial situations, ages and attitudes. The people who have been in the uninsured category for the longest are the most reluctant to acquire insurance themselves.

The attitude of most Americans towards the Affordable Health Care Act is still mostly negative and some Americans who refuse to purchase insurance are doing so because they object to the insurance act and the law’s requirements. Other Americans are just becoming increasingly disparaging about insurance products on offer and their cost. It’s not surprising given that there are so many stories about insurance companies refusing to pay claims.

The number of uninsured Americans is going to continue to decline as we approach the March 31 insurance deadline set out under Obamacare. Individuals will have to pay a fine if they do not obtain insurance before this date.

Gallup suggests that most people are going to be obtaining their insurance from insurance exchanges, where you can often get greater value for money. However in Gallup’s polling many people who looked into insurance exchanges had a negative experience, perhaps why they remained in the “uninsured” demographic.

Once we have reached the March 31 deadline it should be much clearer how Americans have taken to the new health care plan implemented by President Barack Obama and the white house.