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Apr. 7—The rate of uninsured people nationally dropped to 15 percent in March and reached its lowest level since 2008, according to Gallup.
The polling firm's surveys found the lowest rate of uninsured since the third quarter of 2008 occurred in March. The rate's recent decline, which followed an all-time high of 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013, was credited to provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
The decline in the rate of uninsured in recent months coincided with the launch of the ACA's individual insurance marketplaces and an expansion of Medicaid eligibility in half of the states. According to Gallup, those provisions may provide continuing downward pressure on the rate, which continued to fall to 14.7 percent in the second half of March.
The Gallup data confirmed the Obama administration's finding that only about 25 percent of so-called young invincibles have obtained coverage recently. The administration has said the ACA marketplaces require enrollments by young adults to comprise about 40 percent of all sign ups to ensure their viability.
The administration's struggles to enroll Hispanics—the racial group with the highest uninsured rates—was shown through Gallup's finding of little reduction among that group. Hispanics' uninsured rates dropped 1.7 percent, compared to a 3.3 percent reduction among African Americans.
"The Obama administration also announced that Americans unable to sign up by March 31 could request an extension through April 15, which could further drive down the uninsured rate in the second quarter of 2014," according to a statement from Gallup. "Additionally, other provisions of the healthcare law have not yet gone into effect, such as the requirement for employers to provide health insurance to their employees by 2015. These provisions also may affect the uninsured rate over time."
The Gallup poll followed the administration's report last week that through February enrollments in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program have increased by 3 million to 62 million—largely due to the ACA eligibility expansions.
However, some bursts in Medicaid growth have come outside of the ACA’s eligibility expansion. States that expanded eligibility had 2.6 million more beneficiaries enrolled by the end of February, while non-expansion states had 3 million more enrollees by then. The newly enrolled in non-expansion states qualified under their unchanged Medicaid eligibility standards.
Publication Date: Monday, April 07, 2014
Tom Myers, chief strategy officer, The SSI Group, discusses the shifting payment environment and how it affects providers' patient access and claims management processes.
Jeff Chester, senior vice president and chief revenue officer at Availity, shares his thoughts on "Revenue Cycle 2.0" and how to best meet its challenges.
Mitch Morris, vice chair and global leader, healthcare, Deloitte, and Michael O'Rourke, senior vice president and chief information officer, Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), share perspectives on the need for transformational IT in health care today.
Brian Kueppers, founder and CEO, Apex, discusses the importance of a robust patient payment strategy in boosting organization revenue and enhancing patient satisfaction.
Brian Grazzini, CFO, HealthPort, describes the importance of efficient and compliant information exchange and audit management in helping HIM staff spend less time on paperwork and more on mission-critical projects.
Cindy Matthews, executive vice president, Community Hospital Corporation, discusses how rural and community hospitals can use collaborative partnering to position for success through tough market conditions.
Rick Heise, senior vice president, revenue cycle, at Cerner Corporation, discusses the importance of integrating clinical and financial data to excel in health care’s changing payment environment.
Russ Graney, founder and CEO for Aidin, and John Laursen, head of business development for Aidin, share insights on how to improve care transitions between acute and post-acute care settings and incentivize high-quality patient outcomes.
Scott Elston, strategic accounts manager, GE Healthcare Services, describes how substantial cost reduction in health care requires rethinking business strategy and asset use.
Robert Williams, MD, director, Deloitte Consulting LLP, and Arielle Freiberger, product strategist, ConvergeHEALTH by Deloitte, explain how sophisticated retrospective, real-time, and predictive data analytics can inform decision making to reduce costs and improve care.
Stuart Hanson, director of business development (healthcare solutions) at Citi Retail Services, discusses how improving the payment experience can benefit consumers and healthcare providers.
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