New Gallup Poll: 5% of US Adults Newly Insured since ACA Exchange Launch (12.4MM total)

Hat Tip To: 

Seriously, don't ACA opponents ever get tired of being wrong about...everything?

Hot off the presses...

PRINCETON, NJ -- Five percent of Americans report being newly insured in 2014. More than half of that group, or 2.8% of the total U.S. population, say they got their new insurance through the health exchanges that were open through mid-April.

These data are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with more than 31,000 adults conducted between April 15 and June 17. Those who say they have health insurance were asked if their policy was new for 2014, and if so, whether they obtained their policy through a state or federal health exchange or in some other way. The exchanges officially closed on March 31, although people who indicated they had begun the process prior to that date were allowed to continue to enroll through April 15.

So, let's see here. The Gallup poll only includes adults over 18, so...

By an amazing coincidence, back on May 5th Gallup issued similar survey results which showed a reduction in the overall national uninsured rate of at least 11 million, so this survey, using slightly different wording and a different approach, simply reinforces that one...although the earlier one included Medicaid as well, so there's obviously some overlap/churn going on here.

However, looking further at the new survey, take a look at the Exchange-Based vs. OFF-Exchange Based numbers: 2.8% and 2.2%. What does this tell us? Well, let's do a bit more basic math:

  • 2.8% of 240 million is around 6.72 million adults who are newly-insured via the ACA exchanges (QHPs + Medicaid combined)
  • 2.2% of 240 million  is around 5.28 million adults who are newly-insured off of the ACA exchanges (QHPs + Medicaid combined)

Next, we have to subtract around 3% of these numbers to account for the 3% who were added to Medicare (personally, I don't understand why we aren't "counting" new Medicare enrollees since it is an example of true single-payer healthcare, but whatever...private QHPs and Medicaid seem to be all anyone is interested in here).

That brings these numbers down a smidge to 6.52 million 18-64 year olds on exchange and 5.12 million off the exchanges.

Next, we have to account for those under 18. According to the final March/April HHS exchange report, about 6.2% (498,000) of the 8.02 million exchange QHP enrollees as of 4/19 were under 18. I think it's safe to assume that this ratio has remained fairly close to 6% since then, for both newly & previously insured, whether on or off the exchanges. Even if it's a bit higher or lower (5-7%) for these variables, my math should still hold up.

Assuming that's accurate we get:

  • 6.94 million total newly-insured people via the exchanges (QHPs + Medicaid combined)
  • 5.45 million total newly-insured people off of the exchanges (QHPs + Medicaid combined)

This adds up to around 12.4 million total newly insured people (around 11.6 million adults + another 800K children).

Finally, we have to try and separate out the newly-insured private QHPs from the newly-insured Medicaid/CHIP enrollees.

Here's where the Kaiser Family Foundation study from last week comes into play. Assuming that their exchange-based estimate of 57% QHPs being previously uninsured is accurate, and assuming my estimate that the current exchange QHP tally is sitting at around 8.5 million and assuming that the CMS's recent report stating 6.05 million NEW Medicaid enrollees total is accurate, that suggests the following:

    • 4.85 million newly-insured QHPs (about 4.36M paid)
    • 3.65 million previously-insured QHPs (about 3.29M paid)
    • 2.1 million newly-insured Medicaid/CHIP enrollees
    • 4.6 million previously-insured Medicaid/CHIP enrollees
    • 1.5 million newly-insured QHPs (about 1.35M paid)
    • around 6.5 million previously-insured QHPs (around 5.85M paid)
    • around 4 million newly-insured Medicaid/CHIP enrollees
    • (unknown number of previously-insured Medicaid/CHIP enrollees)

I'm not certain about all of these numbers, of course; they combine a mish-mash of the Gallup results, KFF results, the official HHS/CMS reports and my own estimates, but I'm pretty confident that I'm fairly close on most of them.

In any event, any way you slice it, the drip-drip-drip of the anti-Obamacare talking points continues to swirl around the drain, leaving only a bitter reality behind.