red and green intersecting graph linesAccording to a new Gallup poll, the uninsured rate among lower-income Americans is at its lowest level since 2008. The percentage of Americans without health insurance dropped by 1.5 percent from Q4 2013 to 15.6 percent. The data corresponds directly with the enrollment deadline for coverage under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. This confirms that enrollment through exchanges increased as the March 31 deadline approached. The Obama administration announced that 7.1 million people were signed up for a health care plan under the PPACA by the open enrollment deadline.

“The Obama administration also announced that Americans unable to sign up by March 31 could request an extension through April 15, which could further drive down the uninsured rate in the second quarter of 2014,” Gallup reported. “Additionally, other provisions of the health care law have not yet gone into effect, such as the requirement for employers to provide health insurance to their employees by 2015. These provisions also may affect the uninsured rate over time.”

However, despite making young adults a top priority for enrollment, the uninsured rate among 18 to 25 year olds did not fall drastically. The rate among 18 to 25 year olds fell to 21.7 percent in Q1 2014 while the rate among adults aged 26 to 34 dropped to 26.4 percent. For those aged 35 to 64, the uninsured rate fell to 16.1 percent, reported Gallup. The uninsured rate for lower-income Americans dropped 3.2 percent to 27.5 percent, the largest decline among all subgroups. The uninsured rate for black Americans fell 3.3 percent to 17.6 percent. Hispanics remain the lead insured subgroup with an uninsured rate of 37 percent, down 1.7 percent from Q4 2013.


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