8.8M people gained health insurance last year, Census finds

8.8M people gained health insurance last year, Census finds

Census data released Wednesday show that 8.8 million people gained health insurance in 2014, the first year of ObamaCare’s coverage expansion. 


The report finds that 33 million people lacked health insurance in 2014, down from 41.8 million in 2013. That is a drop from a 13.3 percent uninsured rate to 10.4 percent. 

Other studies have also found large drops in the uninsured rate. A report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in August found that 15.8 million people had gained insurance through the first quarter of 2015, and the administration estimated in March that 16.4 million people had gained coverage. 

The Census Bureau looked at people uninsured for the entire year, while the other studies looked at people uninsured at the time they were surveyed, which can cause some differences in the numbers. 

“After several years of a relatively stable uninsured rate between 2008 and 2013 … the percentage of the population who were uninsured dropped between 2013 and 2014, marking the largest percentage-point decline in the uninsured rate during this period,” the report states.

The Census study finds that the rate of private health insurance coverage increased by 1.8 percentage points, to 66 percent, and the government coverage rate increased by 2 percentage points to 36.5 percent. 

The percentage of people with employer-sponsored private plans declined slightly, by 0.3 percentage points, to 55.4 percent. People purchasing private insurance on their own, through the health law’s insurance exchanges, increased by 3.2 percentage points to 14.6 percent.

Hispanic people had the highest uninsured rate, at 19.9 percent, compared to 11.8 percent for black people and 7.6 percent for white people.