Survey: Uninsured rate drops to 15.9 percent

March 11, 2014

The percentage of Americans who don't have health insurance has fallen to 15.9 percent, down from 17.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index.

The index is based on more than 28,000 interviews conducted from Jan. 2 through Feb. 28. The uninsured rate has been steadily dropping since it hit an all-time high of 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013, according to Gallup.

In 2014 so far, the uninsured rate has declined for almost every major demographic group. Those earning less than $36,000 annually have shown the biggest drop, from 30.7 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 27.9 percent in the latest poll. The percentage of uninsured 26- to 34-year-olds (the age group with the highest uninsured rate since 2011) has fallen to 26.6 percent, compared with 28.2 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013.

According to Gallup, the consistent decline in the uninsured rate since Jan. 1 could be a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, which requires Americans to get health insurance coverage or pay a penalty starting this year.

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