Uninsured rates have declined to their lowest levels in more than a decade, according to a new survey. New results from the 2014 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey indicate that the Affordable Care Acts subsidized insurance options and consumer protections reduced the number of uninsured adults from an estimated 37 million people in 2010 to 29 million by the second half of 2014. According to a January 2015 issue brief on The Commonwealth Funds website for the first time since it began in 2001, the survey finds declines in the number of people who report cost-related access problems and medical-related financial difficulties.
The number of adults who did not get needed healthcare because of cost declined from 80 million people, or 43%, in 2012 to 66 million, or 36%, in 2014. The number of adults who reported problems paying their medical bills declined from an estimated 75 million people in 2012 to 64 million people in 2014.
According to the issue brief, 6.7 million people enrolled in health plans sold through the Affordable Care Acts marketplaces in 2014, with most signing up through the federal marketplace website, HealthCare.gov. So far for the 2015 open enrollment period, which ends on Feb. 15, 6.8 million people in 37 states reenrolled or newly enrolled through the federal website by the beginning of the year. In addition, at least 600,000 people have signed up through the 14 state-operated marketplaces. Nearly 10 million people have newly enrolled in Medicaid since October 2013, according to the brief.
Rates among young adults and low-income adults are at their lowest levels in 14 years, according to the brief. For the first time since we began asking the question in 2003, there was a decline in the number of adults who reported not getting needed care because of cost, the authors stated in the brief. And for the first time, there was a decline in the number of people who had problems paying their medical bills or who are paying off medical debt over time.
The survey was conducted from July 22-Dec. 14, 2014, by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, with 4,251 adults ages 19 to 64.
To see more survey results, go to http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/issue-brief/2015/jan/1800_collins_biennial_survey_brief.pdf?la=en