- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 5, 2014

Following the end of Obamacare’s first open enrollment period, the U.S. uninsured rate is holding steady at a low point of 13.4 percent, with the rate declining most among blacks and Hispanics, according to a new Gallup poll. 

The poll data shows that uninsured rate has been steadily dropping from a high point of 18 percent at the end of the third quarter of 2013. The percentage of Americans without health insurance fell to an average of 17.1 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013. The percentage further fell to an average 15.6 percent in the first quarter of 2014 as Americans began purchasing health insurance as required by the Affordable Care Act. The rate finally hit its low point of 13.4 percent in the second quarter of this year.

This is the lowest rate of Americans lacking health insurance since Gallup starting tracking the data in 2008.

The rate held steady through April and May, and numbers have leveled off since the deadline to buy insurance on April 15. Gallup notes that the 13.4 percentage rate is “significantly lower” than previous quarters, as Americans started buying health insurance on the exchanges, and that the numbers have leveled off as the deadline has passed. 

“It remains to be seen if the uninsured rate will stay at this level, increase, or decrease between now and mid-November, when the next open enrollment begins,” Gallup noted in its poll analysis.

The decline in the uninsured rate was mostly marked in black and Hispanic populations. Among blacks, the uninsured rate fell 6.2 percentage points to 14.7 percent; among Hispanics, the rate was down 5.6 points to 33.1 percent — still the highest rate across demographic groups, according to the poll.

The poll also revealed that young adults, whose purchase of health insurance is key to keeping cost down, continue to have the highest uninsured rate across demographic groups, though the rate in this population is decreasing.

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