Over the last quarter, as 8 million Americans enrolled in health insurance through Obamacare, surveys and initial reports have highlighted a heartening trend – Americans are showing increasing interest in the new, subsidized health insurance and the rates of uninsured are currently at their lowest since 2008. Newly insured individuals are showing the most activity with their health insurance, spiking collective interest of the nation in post health reform market. Combined with the steadily dropping uninsured rates, surveys indicate that ACA is finally working in its most crucial departments.
Picking up the number of uninsured, 18 percent of Americans were uninsured in 2013. By 2014, this number dropped to a new low of 13.4 percentage. In the age group of 19 to 64, 9.5 million people shed their uninsured status. The strongest surge in the number of insured came in the 19 to 34 years age group, roughly 28 percent, which translates to 5.7 million more young adults with health insurance in 2014 than in 2013. The same trend is prevailing in the Medicaid sphere too, with expansion increasing the reach of the program, 6.7 million people have been able to enroll into the expanded Medicaid. For May 2014 alone, the enrollment was roughly a million.
Other than the lowest uninsured rates, the Obamacare health insurance is seeing quite a lot of activity too. According to available data until May 2014, as much as 60 percent newly insured adults have made use of their health insurance either through a clinic visit, a hospital visit or a prescription. Of these, 62 percent people admit that they could not have availed these medical facilities before the Obamacare insurance. The newly insured are showing a solid preference to the insurance available under ACA, and this is featuring in the collective opinion America has of the law.
Although the sentiment toward the law is becoming positive, 45 percent Americans still think ACA is making matters worse for them. At the start of 2014, this number was 50 percent. Similarly, nearly 60 percent of people newly enrolled in either Medicaid or private exchange health insurance feel that they are getting access to healthcare that was previously out of their reach. Additionally, 78 percent of people newly insured under ACA feel satisfied or extremely satisfied with the health insurance benefits available to them. As many as 60 percent people with new health insurance have started using their insurance benefits, and most were able to find a doctor and book an appointment with ease and within a two week period. These numbers show an increasing popularity of the law, and, most importantly, a wider acceptance of the benefits available to people in post ACA health insurance market.
Other than enrollee appreciation and acceptance, health insurance plans are also showing wider acceptance of the law. Available data shows that new carriers are interested in offering health insurance across states by 2015. As of now, most carriers are planning to widen their offerings in the coming year. With more players entering the market and existing ones revamping their bouquet of offerings, the market will experience competition that will bring better benefits, wider coverage at a better price to enrollees. Collectively, the number of uninsured is dropping in the country and people with new health insurance are showing increasing interest in these new health plans. With new enrollees showing exceptional interest in the available health options, the popularity of ACA is increasing. As the number of uninsured drops further, the Obama administration will move closer to its primary goal of providing health insurance to everyone in the country.
While lowering uninsured rates and rising individual interest are important factors, for achieving this mammoth goal, the administration needs to have a few more tricks up its sleeves. For instance, communities that are still disconnected with the benefits of ACA need extensive motivation to sign up and enroll. Ironically, these communities are the ones that typically need ACA health benefits the most. Although a prospect of alternative to Obamacare has long been in the works for Republicans, it seems that Obamacare is already doing better than any alternative the GOP proposes to replace ACA. ACA is definitely working, but a better way to take things forward would be to close the loopholes of ACA and make it reachable to communities, for instance the 45 percent which sees ACA as a bane, that have been distant from the benefits of Obamacare.