Today the LA Times reports that at least 9.5 million people who were previously uninsured have gained coverage because of the Affordable Care Act.
In the course of interviewing pollsters who track the uninsured, the LA Times quotes Gallup promising a further drop in self-reported uninsured Americans in its forthcoming March data. Another key report is that several insurers who avoided offering plans on the exchanges this year are indicating they want to offer plans in the next enrollment period.
Below the squiggle for choice quotes.
[The RAND Corporation] has been polling 3,300 Americans monthly about their insurance choices since last fall. Researchers found that the share of adults ages 18 to 64 without health insurance has declined from 20.9% last fall to 16.6% as of March 22.
The decrease parallels a similar drop recorded by Gallup, which found in its national polling that the uninsured rate among adults had declined from 18% in the final quarter of last year to 15.9% through the first two months of 2014. Gallup's overall uninsured rate is lower than Rand's because it includes seniors on Medicare.
Gallup Editor in Chief Frank Newport said that March polling, which has not been released yet, indicates the uninsured rate has declined further.
Republican critics of the law have suggested that the cancellations last fall have led to a net reduction in coverage.
That is not supported by survey data or insurance companies, many of which report they have retained the vast majority of their 2013 customers by renewing old policies, which is permitted in about half the states, or by moving customers to new plans. "We are talking about a very small fraction of the country" who lost coverage, said Katherine Carman, a Rand economist who is overseeing the survey.
"It's way beyond our projections," Blue Shield spokesman Steve Shivinsky said.
In several states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Kentucky, Iowa and South Dakota, more insurers are looking to join state marketplaces when second-year enrollment begins this fall, according to marketplace and insurance industry officials.