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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

A Look at Health Insurance Coverage in 2014

September 22, 2014
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Since it was enacted, the Affordable Care Act has brought about many changes to the health insurance market. Medicaid expansion and premium tax credits have helped millions of Americans gain health insurance coverage. The Urban Institute Health Policy Center recently released a report outlining how the ACA’s Medicaid and Marketplace provisions have affected the amount of insured Americans.

Background on the Analysis

The Urban Institute Health Policy Center’s Health Reform Monitoring Survey analyzed the comparison of uninsurance rates for non-elderly adults (age 18 to 64) through the second quarter of 2014 to data collected during 2013. The focus was on examining changes in health insurance coverage.

Key Findings from the Analysis

The number of uninsured non-elderly adults decreased by 22.3 percentage points, with an estimated 9 million fewer uninsured adults between September 2013 and June 2014. In June 2014, the uninsurance rate for non-elderly adults was estimated at 13.9 percent nationwide.

In addition, the states that expanded Medicaid had significant declines in their uninsurance rates through June 2014. States with Medicaid expansion saw their uninsured rate decline 6.1 percentage points , while non-expansion states only saw a drop of 1.7 percentage points.uninsurance

Chart: Urban Institute Health Policy Center, Health Reform Monitoring Survey

Increase in Coverage for Low and MIddle-Income Individuals

Low and middle-income adults targeted by the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) key coverage provisions saw large gains in insurance coverage, according to the Urban Institute.uninsured2

Chart: Urban Institute Health Policy Center, Health Reform Monitoring Survey

As the chart above shows, between September 2013 and June 2014, insurance coverage increased by 7.3 percentage points for low-income households with income at or below 138 percent of the Federal Poverty Line (FPL). The survey points out that these individuals were targeted by the ACA’s Medicaid expansion.

Insurance coverage for middle-income households (139 to 399 percent of FPL) increased by 5.3 percent. These middle-income households were targeted by the premium tax credits available for individual health insurance coverage purchased through the Marketplaces, according to the Urban Institute.

There were increases in the amount of covered adults across all age, sex, and race demographics. The survey points out that the most significant gains were among groups that historically have higher uninsurance rates. The survey noted that:

  • Young adults (age 18 to 30) had a 4.3 percentage point increase in coverage.

  • Coverage rates for men increased by 4.3 percentage points.

  • Coverage rates for non-white, non-hispanic individuals increased by 6.9 percentage points.

Read the full analysis at the Urban Institute.

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