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U.S. uninsured rate rises to four-year high

Staff Writer |
The U.S. adult uninsured rate stood at 13.7% in the fourth quarter of 2018, according to Americans' reports of their own health insurance coverage, its highest level since the first quarter of 2014.

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While still below the 18% high point recorded before implementation of the Affordable Care Act's individual health insurance mandate in 2014, today's level is the highest in more than four years, and well above the low point of 10.9% reached in 2016.

The 2.8-percentage-point increase since that low represents a net increase of about seven million adults without health insurance.

Nationwide, the uninsured rate climbed from 10.9% in the third and fourth quarters of 2016 to 12.2% by the final quarter of 2017; it has risen steadily each quarter since that time.

Since Gallup's measurement began in 2008, the national uninsured rate reached its highest point in the third quarter of 2013 at 18.0%, and thus, the current rate of 13.7% although it continues a rising trend remains well below the peak level.

These data, collected as part of the Gallup National Health and Well-Being Index, are based on Americans' answers to the question, "Do you have health insurance coverage?" Sample sizes of randomly selected adults in 2018 were around 28,000 per quarter.


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