Healthcare reform sends uninsured rate falling


Roughly 9.5 million people have gained health insurance coverage through healthcare reform's Medicaid expansion, health insurance exchanges and private plans, according to national surveys and enrollment data.

In particular, a new survey from Rand Corporation showed Medicaid accounts for about 4.5 million previously uninsured consumers, reported the Los Angeles Times, which received a copy of the unpublished survey data. Those figures are similar to analyses from Avalere Health, which found up to 3.5 million people had signed up for Medicaid as of January.

Rand's monthly survey of 3,300 consumers also found the uninsured rate among adults ages 18 to 64 has dropped from 20 percent last fall to 16 percent last month. That's in line with a Gallup poll showing the uninsured rate declined from 18 percent last year to 15 percent as of February.

What's more, plan cancellations last fall haven't caused a drop in insurance rates because most insurers either renewed consumers' old policies or moved them to newer plans. "We are talking about a very small fraction of the country" who lost coverage, Katherine Carman, a Rand economist overseeing the survey, told the LA Times.

Insurers also reported boosts in their membership. Health Net and Blue Shield of California, for example, likely will substantially increase their enrollment numbers. And Independence Blue Cross has more than doubled its customers since last year, the LA Times noted.

To learn more:
- read the Los Angeles Times article

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