By Jonathan Easley - 04/08/14 04:17 PM EDT
Approximately 9.3 million people have gained health insurance since ObamaCare went live in October, a new study finds.
This is in line with a Gallup survey released last week that showed the uninsured rate falling to 15.6 percent, the lowest it’s been since 2008.
Rand said 14.5 million in total have gained new coverage since the launch, but 5.2 million of those were due to canceled policies that had to be replaced, leaving 9.3 million newly insured.
According to the study, 1.4 million of the 3.9 million who had signed up for ObamaCare through mid-March were previously uninsured. The Obama administration said nearly 5 million had signed up for coverage at that juncture, but Rand acknowledged its figures didn’t “fully capture the surge in enrollment.”
The administration says more than 7.1 million signed up under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) before the March 31 deadline.
In addition to those signing up for ObamaCare, Medicaid and other government-backed programs increased their rolls by 5.9 million, the study found. But perhaps the most impressive gains were in the private sector, where 8.2 million picked up coverage through an employer-sponsored plan.
“Early evidence from our survey indicates that the ACA has already led to a substantial increase in insurance coverage,” the study says. “Consistent with the design of the ACA, this gain in insurance has come not only from new enrollment in the marketplaces, but also from new enrollment in employer coverage and Medicaid.”
Still, the Rand study comes with a caveat — a huge margin of error.
“Because we are extrapolating from a small survey to the entire U.S. population, the margin of error is relatively large,” the study says. “For example, while we estimate 9.3 million individuals become newly insured, the margin of error is 3.5 million people. Furthermore, the timing of surveys may vary. Given the surge in enrollment at the end of March, whether that period is included in the survey may dramatically affect results. Thus, it should not be surprising that our estimates may not match perfectly.”