This morning Joan McCarter mentions this Gallup Poll showing a 6.2% drop in the number of African Americans without health insurance from the forth quarter of last year. Here, Jenna Levy of Gallup provides more details in U.S. Uninsured Rate Holds Steady at 13.4% - Uninsured rate declining most among blacks and Hispanic, with the uninsured rate for April and May averaging 13.4%.
The percentage of U.S. adults lacking insurance coverage in the first two months of the second quarter of 2014 is down from 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013 and from the 15.6% average in the first quarter of 2014. The current 13.4% average for the second quarter of 2014 is the lowest level recorded since Gallup began tracking this measure in 2008.
Across nearly every major subgroup, the uninsured rate is lower now compared with the fourth quarter of 2013. The rate dropped more among blacks than it did in other major demographic groups, falling 6.2 percentage points to 14.7%.
Hispanics had the second-largest drop in the percent uninsured across demographic groups. Although the rate among Hispanics is down 5.6 points since the end of 2013 to 33.1%, this remains the highest uninsured rate across key subgroups. Hispanics are a major target of public outreach efforts, because they historically are the most likely to be uninsured among demographic groups.
Gallup's poll is based on 30,400 interviews with Americans from April 1-May 31, 2014, and has a sample error of plus or minus 1% at the 95% confidence level.
Three questions of interest may determine if this number goes up or down prior to the November election. If people do not keep up with their payments the number of uninsured could increase. If states that did not expand Medicaid change their minds the number could come down further. Also, if employment picks up and more people are covered on work plans the number could also decrease.
Gallup provides an unusually detailed explanation of their polling methodology at www.gallup.com.