First Look at Health Insurance Coverage in 2018 Finds ACA Gains Beginning to Reverse

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After years of health coverage gains following the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a new study shows uninsured rates are starting to rise. The latest installment of the Commonwealth Fund ACA Tracking Survey, conducted in February and March, found that the uninsured rate among working-age people is at 15.5 percent, up from 12.7 percent in 2016, meaning an estimated 4 million people lost coverage.

The uninsured rate is up significantly for lower-income adults living in households earning less than 250 percent of poverty, or about $30,000 for an individual, report researchers Sara Collins, Munira Gunja, Michelle Doty, and Herman Bhupal. It now stands at 25.7 percent, up from 20.9 percent in 2016.

The authors say the declines in coverage are likely due to the lack of federal legislative action to improve specific weaknesses in the ACA, as well as actions by the Trump administration that have exacerbated those weaknesses, such as deep cuts in advertising and outreach during open enrollment for marketplace plans. Read the study