Report: Uninsured rate dropped after O-Care exchanges opened


The percentage of uninsured people in the U.S. dropped, from 20 percent to 15 percent, after the ObamaCare marketplaces opened last year, according to a new study.

The Commonwealth Fund polled between July and September of 2013, before the new exchanges went into effect, and then again between April and June this year, after the ObamaCare enrollment period ended.

Its analysis estimates 9.5 million fewer people were uninsured after the enrollment period ended.

“The findings suggest that the Affordable Care Act is beginning to achieve its central goal— reducing the number of Americans who are uninsured and improving access to health care,” said Sara Collins, lead author on the study. “Adults who are being helped the most are those who historically have had the greatest difficulty affording health insurance and getting the care they need.”

The survey estimates the uninsured rate for young adults, ages 19 to 34, fell from 28 percent to 18 percent. The uninsured rate for Hispanics dropped from 36 percent to 23 percent and the rate for poor adults went from 35 percent to 24 percent.

The biggest change was seen in the West, where the uninsured rate fell from 21 percent to 12 percent. In the South, it fell from 24 percent to 19 percent.

The survey also found that states that expanded Medicaid under ObamaCare saw a significant reduction in the uninsured compared to states that did not.

In the 25 states and the District of Columbia that have expanded Medicaid, the average uninsured rate for people living below the poverty level fell from 28 percent to 17 percent. In the rest of the states, the uninsured rate among the poor remained, on average, around 36 percent.