The result of a new government survey released on Wednesday has revealed that over 7 million people in the U.S. who did not have health insurance in 2014 got coverage this year.
The number means that the uninsured rate in the U.S. has dropped below 10 percent for the first time in over four decades.
Data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) revealed there was a significant drop in the number of Americans who do not have health insurance.
CDC's National Center for Health Statistics reported that in the first three months of 2014, 11.5 percent of Americans were uninsured but this dropped to 9.2 percent by the first quarter of 2015. The current rate of Americans without health insurance is the lowest since 1972.
"It's certainly meaningful that it's the lowest it's ever been, at least in decades and decades," said Rachel Garfield, from the Kaiser Family Foundation. "While there's not a specific threshold we look to cross, certainly being in single digits for the uninsured rate is a very meaningful reduction."
The uninsured rate is higher in younger Americans between 19 and 25 years old at 16.6 percent but the rate is still down compared with the past years. The Obama administration hopes that younger people will avail of coverage since the coverage model depends on healthy customers in order to keep the costs low.
"Among adults aged 18-64, the percentage uninsured decreased from 16.3 percent in 2014 to 13 percent in the first 3 months of 2015. There was a corresponding increase in private coverage, from 67.3 percent to 70.4 percent," the report reads [pdf].
Despite the decline in the number of uninsured, there are still 29 million Americans who do not have health coverage. The improving figures though show a trend since the Affordable Care Act (ACA), also known as Obamacare, took effect.
Government figures show that since 2014 the number of uninsured Americans is down by 15.8 percent and analysts attribute this to the implementation of the health reform law and the improving economy. Analysts also say that the attitudes of Americans on Obamacare have become more positive.
President Obama hopes that the ACA will be a lasting legacy of his term albeit Republicans who vie for a presidential nomination have intentions to repeal the measure. The administration said that about 11. 7 million people have signed up for health insurance under ACA this year.
Photo: Carl Lender | Flickr