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HEALTH CARE COLLECTIONS: Uninsured Rate Declines in States Embracing Affordable Care Act

Issued By
April 23, 2014

States with Medicaid expansion and their own health insurance exchanges have more significant declines in their uninsured rate. Fines implemented under the Affordable Care Act could further reduce the rate.

States that are embracing the Affordable Care Act by expanding Medicaid and establishing their own exchanges have seen significant declines in their uninsured rates, according to research in the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. 

The uninsured rate, on average, declined 2.5 percentage points in 21 states (including the District of Columbia) that have expanded Medicaid and set up exchanges.

In the 29 states implementing only one or neither of these actions, the uninsured rate dropped by 0.8 percentage points, according to the research.

 

States with expanded Medicaid and health insurance exchanges already had a lower average insured rate: 16.1 percent, compared with 18.7 percent for the remaining states.

The national uninsured rate is currently 15.6 percent after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to Gallup. The rate peaked at 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013, which was three months before the health insurance exchanges opened.

A separate poll by Gallup shows that fines for not having insurance under the Affordable Care Act could impact the uninsured rate in the future. 

If the fine were $95, about the same amount of uninsured Americans say they would not purchase insurance (46 percent) as those who would (47 percent), according to Gallup.

For a hypothetical $500 fine, 60 percent of poll participants said they would purchase insurance and 62 percent said they would if the fine is $1,000.

The actual fine for 2014 is $95, or 1 percent of household income, whichever is greater. The amount increases to $325, or 2 percent of income, in 2015, and to $695, or 2.5 percent of income, in 2016.

According to Gallup, the fine increase from $95 to $325 next year could prompt a significant amount of people without insurance to purchase a plan in 2015. However, the increase could begin to taper off between 2015 and 2016 if the fines reach between $500 and $1,000.

"Other factors such as public support for the Affordable Care Act and targeted marketing campaigns may help to close the insurance coverage gap even as the fines lose some of their ability to influence decision making," according to the poll.  

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This document was issued by ACA - The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals and was initially posted at www.acainternational.org. It was distributed, unedited and unaltered, by noodls on 2014-04-23 16:53:44. The original document issuer is solely responsible for the accuracy of the information contained therein.

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