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More than 16M Americans Have Gained Health Insurance Under Affordable Care Act


An estimated 16.4 million Americans have gained health insurance coverage since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, according to new data released Monday by the US Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Richard Frank, assistant secretary for planning and evaluation, said the drop in the uninsured rate is primarily driven by the Affordable Care Act.

“This is a historic drop in the uninsured and nothing since the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid come near to this type of change,” he said.

About 14.1 million adults have gained coverage since open enrollment began in October 2013, according to the report. The uninsured rate has dropped from 20.3 percent to 13.2 percent since its debut.

An additional 2.3 million 19- to 25-year-olds have gained coverage since a new provision went into effect in 2010, allowing young adults to stay on their parent’s insurance until the age of 26.

WFPL recently reported that Kentucky has the second greatest reduction in the rate of uninsured people among the states. The state’s uninsured rate is now 9.8 percent– down from 20.4 percent in 2013.

Dr. Meena Seshamani, director of the Office of Health Reform, said health insurance coverage gains were especially strong in Medicaid expansion states. Those states had a drop in uninsured rates of 7.4 percentage points compared to 6.9 percentage points in non-expansion states.

“It’s working to provide  financial and health security across the country and it’s working to drive down the uninsured rate,” she said.

An analysis by the Louisville Metro Board of Health, found that before the ACA, Louisville had an estimated 101,000 uninsured residents. Following the first year of implementation, 81 percent of the formerly uninsured had gained coverage with the majority enrolling in Medicaid.

The report by the HHS also shows that the uninsured rate declined across all race/ethnicity categories since October 2013.

The uninsured rate among Latinos dropped by 12.3 percentage points, resulting in 4.2 million gaining coverage. African Americans’ uninsured rate declined by 9.2 percentage points and the uninsured rate among whites dropped to 5.3 percentage points.

Ja'Nel Johnson covers community health for WFPL News.
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