- The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics reported that 2015 saw a continued reduction in the U.S. uninsured rate as it dropped to a total 28.6 million individuals, a reduction of 7.4 million people compared with 2014.
- That drop brought the percentage of the U.S. population of all ages that is uninsured down from 11.5% in 2014 to 9.1% in 2015.
- This reduction follows 2014's progress in reducing the uninsured rate by 8.8 million under the Affordable Care Act.
The report, which updates the CDC's late 2015 release of partial results, indicates the ACA has been highly successful at reducing the uninsured rate, finding it to have dropped by a total of 16.2 million between late 2013 and late 2015.
One highlight of the report is that states who participated in Medicaid expansion saw further reductions than those that did not, with the uninsured rate for adults in expansion states at 9.8% compared to non-expansion states at 17.5%. In addition, the report found states running their own health insurance exchanges to have reduced their uninsured rate further than states using HealthCare.gov.
However, the number of ACA plan enrollees dipped in late 2015 compared to an earlier peak. While more than 9 million people were enrolled in ACA plans at the end of 2015, there had been 11.3 million enrolled during the third quarter of 2015, the Huffington Post noted, reflecting churn from consumers who either gave up coverage or obtained it elsewhere.
Of course, the uninsured rate only tells part of the story. Debate continues over whether coverage under the ACA has sufficiently equated to accessibility and affordability of care, and just how much premiums are likely to balloon in 2017.