PPACA continues to cut into the number of Americans who don’t have health insurance.
A new Gallup survey reports the percentage of uninsured Americans fell under 12 percent in the first quarter of 2015. That’s the lowest since Gallup began following the trend in 2008.
At its peak, the Gallup surveys showed, the uninsured topped out at 18 percent in 2013. The rate has tumbled since then, cascading from 17.1 percent in 1Q14 to 11.9 percent in 1Q15.
The biggest drop came after the first PPACA enrollment period, when the rate fell 1.5 percent from 4Q13 to 1Q14. This time around, during the same period, the rate fell 1 percent.
Hispanics continue to report the highest rate of any ethnic group without health coverage. However, their coverage rate tumbled the most since the end of 2013, from 38.7 percent to 30.4 percent. The percentage of those without insurance among African Americans fell from 20.9 percent to 13.6 percent—a 7.3 percent drop—during the same period, while the rate of whites without coverage fell from 11.9 percent to 7.7 percent.
When viewed by income, those who earn less than $36,000 reported the largest decrease during that period, from 30.7 percent to 22 percent. Middle- and high-income earners also reported decreases but they were much smaller.
By age, the differences were less dramatic. The rate fell 6.7 percent for those ages 18 to 25, 7.4 percent for those ages 26 to 34, and 6 percent for those ages 35 to 64.
Gallup said more Americans are finding coverage through self-funded plans, and this trend has played a role in reducing the overall number of Americans without health insurance.
Gallup predicted further erosion of the uninsured rate could be about to take place due to a federal policy change.
“The uninsured rate could drop further in the months ahead since the Obama administration established a special enrollment period for March 15 through April 30, aimed at signing up those who realize, while paying their taxes, that they must pay a fine for not obtaining healthcare coverage in 2014,” Gallup said.