Uninsured rate holds at record low in survey

 

The ratio of those without health insurance has fallen dramatically since last year but held steady at a new low of 13.4 percent for May and April, according to a poll.

A Gallup survey published Thursday shows the uninsured in the U.S. dropped from 17.4 percent in the last quarter of 2013, when HealthCare.gov launched, to 15.6 percent in the first quarter of this year, before eventually landing at 13.4 percent.

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“The uninsured rate for U.S. adults appears to be leveling off since the open enrollment period for buying health insurance coverage through the marketplace ended in mid-April,” said Gallup. “Across nearly every major subgroup, the uninsured rate is lower now compared with the fourth quarter of 2013.”

The 13.4 percent that has held for the past two months is the lowest Gallup has recorded since it began collecting the data in 2008.

The report finds blacks and Hispanics saw the sharpest decline in the rate of uninsured, though Hispanics remain the most uninsured demographic at 33.1 percent.

Those between ages 26 and 34, considered to be critical to the success of the new healthcare law because they tend to be healthier, still have the highest uninsured rate compared to other age groups at almost 30 percent.

Gallup notes the rate of uninsured could drop further if more states decide to expand Medicaid, but, on the other hand, if the newly insured fail to continue paying for their insurance, it could end up raising the rate.