Nearly 9 out of 10 Adults Have Health Insurance

Underlining a change across the nation, nearly 9 out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released Monday.

As recently as 2013, slightly more than 8 out of 10 had coverage.

Whether the new number from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index turns out to be a high-water mark for President Barack Obama’s health care law, or a milestone on the path toward his goal of getting virtually all U.S. residents covered, remains to be seen.

The law’s future is still up in the air, and will turn on factors ranging from an upcoming Supreme Court decision on consumer subsidies to actions by Republican leaders in states opposed to Medicaid expansion.

The Gallup-Healthways survey found that the share of adults who lack insurance dropped to 11.9 percent for the first three months of this year, the lowest level since that survey began its tracking in 2008. The latest update overlaps with the period when the health law’s second sign-up season was winding down.

Coverage gains from 2014-2015 translate to about 3.6 million fewer adults uninsured since the fall, before open enrollment got under way, according to Gallup.

“The Affordable Care Act had three major objectives: increase coverage, slow the rate of increase in costs, and improve health,” said Dan Witters, research director for the poll. “The first one is clearly a win. Coverage is increasing; there is no question about it.”

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Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary