By Dan Cook
Between September 2013 and March, the number of uninsureds
ages 18 to 64 dropped by nearly 5 percent. As a result, less than 1 percent of that demographic lacks coverage.
This was the state of affairs just prior to the late-March surge in the newly insured that pushed insurance via the public exchanges
from 3.9 million to more than 7 million, according to the surveyors, RAND American Life Panel. So, in fact, that less-than-1 percent fell further in the waning weeks of the exchange enrollment period.
When the survey began last September, 40.7 million Americans were uninsured. Since then, 14.5 million got covered, while 5.2 million lost it, for a net gain of 9.3 million.
RAND estimated that 1.4 million of the 3.9 million who enrolled in public exchange plans were uninsured before.
Although the pressure to enroll drove the numbers, RAND found that many of those newly insured now have coverage through their employer or Medicaid.
“Enrollment in ESI plans increased by 8.2 million and Medicaid enrollment increased by 5.9 million,” RAND reported, outstripping the number of insured via the public exchanges even after the late surge.
Fewer than a million dropped out of the insurance market altogether.
“While the survey cannot tell if this latter group lost their insurance due to cancellation or because they simply felt the cost was too high, the overall number is very small, representing less than 1 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 64,” RAND said.
RAND found that, among those surveyed, 80 percent who acquired insurance got the same type of coverage they’d had before, despite the new exchange options.
The RAND study tracked information gathered month-by-month from more than 2,000 individuals.
“This detailed information about insurance coverage combined with the fact that the same individuals were surveyed each month provides a unique ability to track how insurance coverage has changed since the major health insurance coverage provisions of the ACA took effect on Jan. 1, 2014,” RAND said.
Originally published on BenefitsPro.com