Urban Institute: Uninsured rate dropped by 30% as of September

2019 OPEN ENROLLMENT ENDS (most states)

Time: D H M S

Hat Tip To: 
Tami Luhby

Over the summer, five different respected national healthcare studies agreed that the overall uninsured rate had plummeted by at least 25% from last fall through the end of June, 2014. The methodology varied a bit from one to another; some included all adults, others only included those under 65. Some included children under 18, others didn't. Some used the September 2013 as the starting point, others started with December 2013. Even with all of these variables, though, the consensus was a 25% reduction, from roughly 42.3 million down to around 31.3 million, give or take.

Today, one of the five, the Urban Institute, released an updated study which includes the third quarter of 2014, and as expected, the trend has continued:

What We Found
The number of uninsured nonelderly adults fell by an estimated 10.6 million between September 2013 and September 2014: a drop of 30.1 percent in the uninsurance rate. In September 2014, the uninsurance rate for nonelderly adults was estimated to be 12.4 percent (95% CI [11.6, 13.2]) for the nation, a drop of 5.3 percentage points (95% CI [4.3, 6.4]) since September 2013 (figure 1).11 Applying the estimated 5.3 percentage-point decrease in the uninsured rate to the estimated national population of nonelderly adults implies that the number of uninsured adults declined by 10.6 million between September 2013 and September 2014 (95% CI [8.5 million, 12.6 million]).

They list a hard number of 10.6 million, which is actually lower than the 11 million in my links above. However, again, the methodology differs from study to study; the Urban Institute's June survey chalked up the reduction as just 8 million at the time, while the others were as high as 12 million (or possibly 13 million if you add another 1 million children, who weren't generally included).

My guess is that if Gallup, RAND and/or the Commonwealth Foundation do their own third-quarter surveys using the same methodology they did in prior ones, their third-quarter results will likely be several million higher than the UI's 10.6 million, just as they were for the June studies...with the concensus being somewhere in the range of 12-13 million.

Furthermore, again, as expected:

Adults in states that implemented the ACA's Medicaid expansion sustained the large coverage gains from the previous quarter, and insurance coverage also rose sharply for adults in nonexpansion states. The uninsurance rate for adults in expansion states dropped 5.8 percentage points (95% CI [4.5, 7.2]) since September 2013; the rate dropped 4.8 percentage points (95% CI [3.2, 6.3]) in the nonexpansion states. This is a decline in the uninsurance rate of 36.3 percent in expansion states and 23.9 percent in nonexpansion states.