Oregon: Uninsured rate down 63% (or more!!) due to Affordable Care Act

Hat Tip To: 
Margot Sanger-Katz, Bill R.

As I've stated many, many times before: In spite of their $300 million disaster of a website failing to enroll a single person, Oregon has still managed to rack up one of the most impressive enrollment tallies in the entire country relative to their population, with a grand total of over 481,000 people added between QHPs, Medicaid and CHIP (in addition to the 353,000 noted at the link, OR added another 128K to Medicaid via their "fast track" program which they don't list here for whatever reasons).

For a state with only 3.9 million people, that's bound to have an impressive impact on the uninsured rate...and sure enough...

The number of uninsured individuals in 2013 was estimated to be approximately 550,000, or 14 percent of the total population. Using this baseline and the SHADAC method, we estimate that the number of uninsured individuals in Oregon declined to roughly 202,000 in June 2014, or 5.1 percent of the population. This represents a decrease of 63 percent in the uninsured rate.

This drop in the number of uninsured individuals was due primarily to the increased Medicaid enrollment and in lesser part to increased enrollment in non-group plans. Figure 2 shows changes in enrollment by type of coverage.

Yes, that's right. A 63% drop in the uninsured rate, state-wide. In just 6 months (and in fact, it's even more impressive than that, since this study only runs through June...and CoverOregon has enrolled another 37,000 people in one or another since then.

Obviously there's some churn involved here; through June, it looks like roughly 78% of the total ACA enrollees were newly insured (348K / 444K). Assuming this proportion has remained consistent since June (and assuming no other major changes in ESI, Medicare, or other types of coverage since then), that means that Oregon's uninsured number should have dropped by another 29,000 people or so by now.

If true, that would mean a total reduction of not "just" 63% but an astonishing 68.5%.

What's even more impressive is that they accomplished this while Oregon's total population went up by 31,000 people in the first half of the year.