Uninsured Rate Shrinks Fastest for Blacks, Hispanics
Policy + Politics

Uninsured Rate Shrinks Fastest for Blacks, Hispanics


The president’s health care law has trimmed the uninsured rate to its lowest level in years. Not unexpectedly, low-income people and minorities are experiencing the largest decline.

A Gallup poll out today shows that the overall uninsured rate held steady at an average 13.4 percent in April and May in the wake of Obamacare’s first open enrollment period. It peaked last fall at 18 percent.

Related: Uninsured Rate Lowest Ever Recorded by Gallup

Though the rate has fallen among every major subgroup, it has fallen fastest among blacks, dropping 6.2 percent since last year, to 14.7 percent, which is just slightly above the average rate. Hispanics, who have the highest uninsured rate of any group, at 33.1 percent, also saw their uninsured rate decline, by 5.6 percent over the same period.

The numbers could change, however, since Health and Human Services revealed Wednesday that they found problems with 2 million Obamacare signups, including issues with immigration and citizenship verification as well as financial data.

The uninsured rate also dropped quickly among low-income people with an annual household income of less than $36,000 – likely because of Medicaid expansion. That percentage fell to 24.7 percent, down 6 points from the end of last year.

Related: ACA-Friendly States Are Insuring More People

Gallup’s Jenna Levy wrote in an analysis that though the uninsured rate held steady at 13.4 percent over the last two months, “it remains to be seen if the uninsured rate will stay at this level, increase, or decrease between now and mid-November, when the next open enrollment begins.” She noted that it could drop further if more states decide to expand their Medicaid programs.

An earlier Gallup poll had showed that the uninsured rate dropped faster in states that chose to expand their Medicaid programs compared to those that did not.

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