A new study finds 5.4 million uninsured Americans have gained health coverage since September, the first estimate of how many of the nation’s uninsured are benefiting from Obamacare.
The percent of uninsured Americans fell to 15.2 percent in March from 17.9 percent in September, the study says.
The data comes from the latest Health Reform Monitoring Survey, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, an organization focused on public health, and conducted by the Urban Institute, a social- and economic-policy think tank.
“The 15 percent drop in uninsurance among adults since September reveals a very promising start for the ACA’s key coverage-expansion provisions,” said Sharon Long, an Urban Institute health economist and the coordinator of its Health Reform Monitoring Survey, in a press release. “One can expect even more significant changes as the end-of-March surge in enrollments is accounted for.”
Because 17.5 percent of Americans were uninsured as of December, the researchers attribute the significant drop in the percent uninsured to ramped-up Obamacare enrollment in early 2014.
States that expanded Medicaid had lower uninsured rates than states that did not, the researchers found. Some 12.4 percent of residents in states that expanded Medicaid remained uninsured, compared with 18.1 percent in states that did not.
The total number of uninsured who gained coverage in the Affordable Care Act’s health insurance exchanges could go up, because most of the survey was completed in early March and does not include the last-minute surge of sign-ups, the researchers added.
The survey is conducted quarterly among a nationally representative sample of roughly 7,500 adults, according to the press release.