Boom: HHS confirms U.S. uninsured rate reached all-time low in early 2022!
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 2, 2022
New HHS Report Shows National Uninsured Rate Reached All-Time Low in 2022
Secretary Becerra Says Biden-Harris Administration Efforts to Expand Coverage, Lower Costs through American Rescue Plan and Other Actions Are Working
Today, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new report showing that the national uninsured rate reached an all-time low of 8 percent in early 2022, with 5.2 million people having gained coverage since 2020, coinciding with the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration in January 2021. The report, which analyzes data from the National Health Interview Survey and American Community Survey, shows the dramatic impact of Biden-Harris Administration’s efforts to increase health care access and lower costs for America’s families through the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced Marketplace subsidies, the continuous enrollment provision in Medicaid, several recent state Medicaid expansions, and substantial enrollment outreach by the Administration in 2021 and 2022.
“We know that access to quality, affordable health care is key to healthier lives, economic security, and peace of mind,” said HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra. “That’s why the Biden-Harris Administration has worked tirelessly to expand access to health insurance and lower costs for America’s families through the American Rescue Plan and other actions. Our new report shows that the uninsured rate in the country reached an all-time low this year – welcome news and proof that our efforts to protect and expand on the Affordable Care Act are paying off.
"As we move forward, the Department of Health and Human Services will continue to do everything we can to protect, expand, and strengthen the programs that provide the quality, affordable health care Americans rely on and deserve. And I'm hopeful that with Congressional action we can continue the work to lower costs for more Americans by both extending the enhanced Affordable Care Act tax credits that have helped drive the uninsured rate to an all-time low and increasing the affordability of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries -- reducing their cost sharing and allowing Medicare to negotiate a better deal on prescription drug prices.”
In a related journal paper published by HHS researchers this month, Medicaid expansion was shown to have improved preventive care and financial security for adults with disabilities, further evidence of how coverage expansion can improve health equity.
Key findings from today’s report, published by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), include the following:
- The nation’s uninsured rate declined significantly in 2021 and early 2022, reaching an all-time low of 8.0 percent for U.S. residents of all ages in the first quarter (January-March) of 2022, based on new data from the National Health Interview Survey, compared to the prior low of 9.0 percent in 2016.
- Approximately 5.2 million people – including 4.1 million adults ages 18-64 and 1 million children ages 0-17 – have gained health coverage since 2020. These gains in health insurance coverage are concurrent with the implementation of the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced Marketplace subsidies, the continuous enrollment provision in Medicaid, several recent state Medicaid expansions, and substantial enrollment outreach by the Biden-Harris Administration in 2021-2022.
- Uninsured rates among adults ages 18-64 declined from 14.5 percent in late 2020 to 11.8 percent in early 2022. The uninsured rate among children ages 0-17, which had increased during 2019 and 2020, fell from 6.4 percent in late 2020 to 3.7 percent in early 2022.
- Approximately 5.4 percent of adults 18-64 reported having Marketplace coverage in early 2022 compared to 4.4 percent in 2020, reflecting approximately 2 million additional adult Marketplace enrollees – roughly half of the 4 million adults who gained health coverage over this period.
- Changes in uninsured rates from 2020 to 2022 were largest among individuals with incomes below 100% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and incomes between 200% and 400% FPL.
- State-specific analyses using the American Community Survey show that the largest changes in the uninsured rate for low-income adults between 2018-2020 generally occurred in states that recently expanded Medicaid. More recent state estimates beyond 2020 are not yet available.
- Overall, these results highlight the significant gains in health insurance coverage that occurred in 2021 and early 2022 associated with the Biden-Harris Administration’s policies to support health insurance expansion. These gains build on the large reductions in the uninsured rate that occurred after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2014, which research demonstrates produced improved health outcomes, better access to care, and improved financial security for families.