Rate of Uninsured Americans Steady Despite Obamacare

Data shows slight change in coverage as Affordable Care Act ramps up

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Joe Raedle / Getty Images

From left: Jessy Abouarab talks with Excelina Ordonez about the Affordable Care Act, the benefits of health coverage and the new health care options outside a grocery store in Miami, on Sept. 16, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Abouarab works for Organizing for Action, which aims to inform the public about the health care exchanges at the heart of the new law.

Census data released Tuesday shows pieces of the Affordable Care Act already in place did little to change the uninsured rate in the United States between 2011 and 2012. The law’s major coverage insurance provisions, which include an expansion of Medicaid and federal subsidies to help individuals afford private insurance, won’t begin until 2014.

A new regulation in the Affordable Care Act requiring insurers to cover adult children of enrollees up to age 26 contributed to a 2.2 percent decrease in the uninsured rate among 19 to 25-year-olds between 2010 and 2011, but this change leveled off in 2012. About 27 percent of people in this group were uninsured in 2012 and they are a major target of ACA outreach efforts. Coaxing young people, who tend to be healthier than other age groups, into the private insurance pool will help offset the cost of covering older and sicker Americans.

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According to the Obama Administration, state-based health insurance marketplaces, called exchanges, will need to enroll 2.7 million healthy 18-25-year-olds to remain solvent. To this end, the ACA will allow young adults to meet the law’s requirement to have insurance, known as the individual mandate, by purchasing low-cost catastrophic insurance plans with high deductibles. (Older Americans will need more comprehensive coverage to meet the mandate and avoid federal fines.)

There was a very slight drop in the percentage of uninsured in the total population, which fell to 15.4 percent in 2012 from 15.7 in 2011. Those covered by government-funded insurance increased from 32.2 percent in 2011 to 32.6 percent in 2012, mainly due to more baby boomers becoming eligible for Medicare.

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14 comments
TheGooch
TheGooch

I did go to the doctor once...25 years ago and they said that I was fine. Fast forward to the present, and I'm still fine physically but behind on my retirement savings. I've cut costs to the bone to catch up on my savings, and then this bill comes to take all of that money away. 

I guess when I finally am unable to work, I can look forward to scrumptious cat food meals for bfast, lunch and dinner.

RobertBain
RobertBain

How come you take such small photos of such cute girls?

RachelKahler
RachelKahler

No news like no news.  The article makes a statement of fact ("Obamacare" hasn't fully kicked in, so we're not seeing much higher levels of insurance) and then titles it like that's news, and controversial news at that.  I guess that if you can't find anything interesting, feel free to scandalize something.

Auntianne
Auntianne

Now see this article is obviously directed at  discouraging people to seek opportunities available to them. My belief is if you want to make progress in life  you have to  strive towards extremes at least to move in the direction of positive means....There will always be some who  say "it will never work" or " the sky is falling"  or  those who will say see" I knew it would work" once it  is a success. Thank God there are those who are willing to risk all to help their fellow man

kennewrr
kennewrr

If you didn't have the money before bamacare, where is the thinking that you will have it now? Give up electricity and fuel for the car to buy insurance the govemment says you have to have? It would appear that the Fed has another new toy to pay there friends with and we should all get onboard....This will not decrease the number of uninsured in the country, live in the now, the uninsured don't have insurance because they cant afford it, not because they cant find where to buy it at.

DonnyDarkoh
DonnyDarkoh

My guess is, that if you're a 'thinking individual' LOL, and you don't want to WASTE money on purchasing unnecessary health coverage you don't actually use, you can go buy the insurance plans meant for poor people or those under 30, then adjust your tax withholding so that the mandate's fine can't be enforced against you by the IRS.  Just avoid going to these state-based exchanges where they try to twist your arm into enrolling into a high-coverage plan.

DonnyDarkoh
DonnyDarkoh

I don't understand these "state exchanges".  Does one HAVE to purchase insurance from these exchanges with an official telling them that their coverage is "bronze" "gold" "silver", or can they just buy a low cost plan they actually want over the internet by themselves??

DonnyDarkoh
DonnyDarkoh

My question is, if an adult over the age of 30 ignores the 'mandate' by simply adjusting their tax withholding, can he buy a catastrophic high-deductible plan like a younger adult?? These articles just summarize the law without specifically stating what the law actual language states.  So you can't get an answer to questions like these merely by reading these articles. 

bibleverse1
bibleverse1

Younger people in generation x are the ones that need to buy insurance. They are the largest group of Americans.

bibleverse1
bibleverse1

Non one is willing to do anything to really reduce totally cost of healthcare by reducing payouts for pain and suffering and other tort reforms.

DonnyDarkoh
DonnyDarkoh

Why is it that younger adults can purchase high deductible plans but older adults can't? Seriously, what is the 'policy' behind that?? It seems that insurance companies just know older people have more money, so are trying to coerce more money out of their pockets.  It seems that the law, as it will be put into practice, will be random and will penalize certain demographics.  I think this is unconstitutional.  There's no equal protection under the law.

DonnyDarkoh
DonnyDarkoh

Why is it that young adults are exempted from the individual mandate?? I've never heard that one.  Talk about age discrimination!!! 

jsnwsch
jsnwsch

@Auntianne Help their fellow man? By government taking money from one group of people and giving it to anther? With the threat of prison? Really?

WilliamWagg
WilliamWagg

@DonnyDarkoh  The problem is no one actually knows what the law really says yet, we won't until they are trying to figure out a way to make it solvent.


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