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Newsletter Article


Uninsured Rate Down Sharply Following ACA Open Enrollment

At the close of the Affordable Care Act’s first open enrollment period, an estimated 9.5 million fewer U.S. adults were without health insurance, according to a Commonwealth Fund survey—the first to examine coverage trends as well as how people have used their new insurance.

The national uninsured rate for working-age adults fell by one-quarter, down from 20 percent in the July–September 2013 period to 15 percent by April–June 2014. Most people with new coverage, either a marketplace plan or Medicaid, said they were optimistic it would improve their ability to get health care. In fact, a majority of those who had used their new plan to get care or fill a prescription said they would not have been able to do so before.

The largest gains in coverage were experienced by young adults ages 19 to 34, Latinos, and low-income adults. Uninsured rates dropped significantly in the 25 states that have expanded eligibility for Medicaid, improving the lives of the poorest Americans. In states that have not expanded, uninsured rates were largely unchanged for this population.

Read our issue brief and use our interactive feature to see the complete survey results.

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