Uninsured Model Update: National Rate Falls to 8.3 Percent Uninsured

By Molly Warren

With open enrollment starting today, organizations across the country, including Enroll America, have been busy preparing to help consumers get covered and stay covered for 2017. Each year, in partnership with Civis Analytics, we create a data model that predicts who likely has, and doesn’t have, health coverage going into open enrollment. This model helps us, and the broader outreach and enrollment community, refine our strategies to reach the remaining uninsured.

The big takeaway from this year’s model, which we released this week, is that the uninsured rate for non-elderly adults in the United States has continued to fall over the past year and currently stands at 8.3 percent. Indeed, we estimate that the uninsured rate has declined by nearly 50 percent since 2013 when the Affordable Care Act’s major coverage provision went into effect (from 16.4 percent in 2013 to 8.3 percent in 2016). It’s also notable that while the uninsured rate among young adults (18-34 years old) remains higher than their older counterparts in 2016, we do see that young adults are continuing to make greater gains and the disparity between different age groups has narrowed since 2013. Interestingly, this age trend does not hold for Latinos in 2016; our model shows that Latino young adults have slightly lower uninsured rates compared with Latinos 45-64 years old.

Uninsured Rate for Non-Elderly Adults in the United States, 2013-2016

Also, like previous years, the New York Times took a deep dive into the uninsured model and released its story yesterday. The article covers state trends in uninsured rates since 2013, and focuses on the pivotal role that Medicaid expansion has played in maximizing coverage, with states that expanded Medicaid seeing much, much larger reductions in uninsured rates compared with states that did not expand their Medicaid program.

For more on what’s happening locally, we urge you to explore our national map with county-level uninsured rates. And, stay tuned for more resources in the coming weeks!

Note: It’s important to recognize that our model shows the uninsured rate, not the number of people eligible to enroll in coverage. That means some of those uninsured fall into the Medicaid gap in states that did not expand their coverage or are not eligible for affordable coverage for some other reason.

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