It’s getting hard to ignore insurance numbers (UPDATED)


Five percent of Americans report being newly insured in 2014. More than half of that group, or 2.8% of the total U.S. population, say they got their new insurance through the health exchanges that were open through mid-April.

Given the population of the United States, this means that more than 15 million about 10-11 million American adults are newly insured this year. Almost 9 million of them received private insurance through the exchanges. There’s more (emphasis mine):

The age distribution of those who report newly obtaining health insurance this year through the exchanges is generally similar to what Gallup found in the preliminary report. The newly insured using exchanges are mostly under age 65, as would be expected, given that most Americans 65 and older are covered by Medicare. Thus, the representation of newly insured Americans is higher across all three age groups younger than 65 than is true for the general population. More specifically, newly insured Americans using the exchanges in the 18 to 29 age category are eight percentage points more prevalent than their percentage in the overall adult population, while representation of those 30 to 49 and 50 to 64 are five and four points higher, respectively.

This means that the fears that the young would refrain from buying insurance, thereby fracturing the risk pools, don’t seem to be coming to pass either.

The ACA ain’t perfect, and there’s always room for improvement, but this is how things were supposed to work. They’re also the opposite of what many opponents said would happen. I’m curious to see if and how data points like these change their rhetoric.


UPDATE: It has been pointed out to me that the Gallup poll only covers adults, so the 5% represents about 10-11 million people.

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