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Gallup: Uninsured rate holding steady at new low point

New data from Gallup shows the rate of Americans without health insurance held steady in May after dropping significantly during Obamacare's open enrollment.
Dr. Tracy Ragland, a pediatrician and family practitioner, examines patient Kelli Van Zant at her private practice in Crestwood, Ky.
Dr. Tracy Ragland, a pediatrician and family practitioner, examines patient Kelli Van Zant at her private practice in Crestwood, Ky.

The percentage of Americans without health insurance since the Affordable Care Act's open enrollment has held steady in the months since that enrollment period ended, according Gallup polling

The survey released Thursday morning finds the uninsured rate in the country has leveled off after dropping to 13.4% in April since the window for purchasing insurance through the marketplace ended in mid-April. 

The uninsured rate ranged between 16.1% and 17.5% from early 2009 until early 2013, before spiking to 18% in the third quarter of 2013. In the fourth quarter of 2013 the average rate was at 17.1%, and it dropped to 15.6% in the first quarter of 2014 as Americans began using the marketplaces to sign up for health insurance.

The uninsured rate among adults dropped to 13.4% in April as enrollment began coming to a close and remained steady in May. The rate nationally is now the lowest Gallup has recorded since the it began tracking metric in 2008. This latest data comes from conducting more than 30,000 interviews with Americans between April 1 and May 31.

These numbers bolster other studies which have found more than 9 million previously uninsured Americans got health insurance thanks to the Affordable Care Act. 

The rate dropped across all demographic groups, with the exception of adults 65 and older who've maintained the lowest uninsured rate of any age group at 2%. The rate fell most sharply for African-Americans, dropping 6.2 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013 to a new low of 14.7% in April and May. Hispanics saw the second highest drop at 5.6 percentage points, but still have the highest uninsured rate across racial groups (33.1%). White Americans saw their uninsured rate drop 3 points to 8.9%. 

Across the economic spectrum, those earning less than $36,000 annually saw the greatest drop, with the uninsured rate falling from 30.7% in the fourth quarter of 2013 to 24.7% in May. Those in the $36,000 to $90,000 income range saw their uninsured rate fall 3.1 points to 8.6%. Those earning $90,000 or more saw a 1.9% drop hitting 3.9% uninsured. 

The percentage of those without health insurance decreased by relatively similar margins across age groups, with those in the 18 to 25 year age group dropping 4.4 points to 19.1%. Those between the ages of 26 and 34 saw their rate drop 4.3 point to 23.9%, and those between the ages of 35 and 64 saw a 4.8 point drop to 13.2%.