2013 saw the uninsured rate hit an all-time high of 18 percent in its third quarter, but that percentage has been steadily falling since, down to 16.2 percent in January and 15.6 percent in February.
Based on a telephone survey of 28,396 adults, Gallup found the uninsured rate declined most among lower-income and black Americans. Uninsured members of households making less than $36,000 annually dropped 2.8 points to 27.9 percent since the fourth quarter of 2013, while the percentage of uninsured blacks dropped 2.6 points to 18.3 percent. Hispanics have the highest rate of uninsured at 37.9 percent.
Gallup found that the uninsured rate dropped for every demographic except Americans over 65, which can likely be accounted for by their prior enrollment in Medicare.
While the Obama administration has made the enrollment of young adults a priority “as healthcare experts say 40 percent of new enrollees must be young and healthy for the Affordable Care Act to be successful,” the report “highlighted no significant changes in young adults’ enrollment” since December.
The report also found fewer Americans are getting primary coverage through their employer, instead covered by plans paid for fully by themselves or a family member.
Gallup regards the decline in uninsured rates as a likely result of the Affordable Care Act and predicts a further drop in uninsured as the end of open enrollment for Obamacare comes on March 31.