One of the goals of the Affordable Care Act was to reduce the number of Americans without health insurance. Various Obamacare provisions, specifically the Individual Mandate, Medicaid expansion, and the Marketplaces, have already led to a significant drop in the number of uninsured Americans.
This section looks at how Obamacare is impacting the uninsured rates in the U.S.
According to a recent Gallup poll, the uninsured rate is 13.4% (as of the 3rd quarter of 2014). This is the lowest recorded uninsured rate since Gallup began tracking it in 2008.
According to research by Kaiser Family Foundation, most of the uninsured are in low-income working families. In 2013, nearly 8 in 10 were in a family with a worker, and nearly 6 in 10 have family income below 200% of poverty. Adults are more likely to be uninsured than children. People of color are at higher risk of being uninsured than non-Hispanic Whites.
Obamacare aims to help the uninsured by:
Expanding Medicaid Eligibility. Many states have expanded their Medicaid eligibility to all residents under 65 with family incomes up to 138 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL). This is an optional ACA provision, however, and some states have not expanded eligibility.
Premium Tax Credits & Cost Sharing Subsidies. These two tax assistance programs helps middle- and low-income families afford health insurance coverage. This is important, as Obamacare also mandates all citizens to have coverage or pay a tax fee.