24 Apr Most newly insured Americans covered by employers, study finds
Originally posted April 8, 2014 on www.modernhealthcare.com by Virgil Dickson.
More than 9 million Americans obtained health insurance between September and mid-March, but most did so through employer-sponsored plans rather than through HealthCare.gov or the state exchanges, a survey by the RAND American Life Panel found.
Only 1.4 million of the 3.9 million individuals who enrolled in Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act-related exchange plans through mid-March were previously uninsured, researchers found. The survey concluded before the final enrollment surge that pushed overall marketplace enrollment past 7 million, RAND noted.
Of the 40.7 million estimated uninsured Americans in 2013, 14.5 million gained coverage, but 5.2 million of the insured lost coverage, for a net coverage gain of approximately 9.3 million. That means the share of the population that was uninsured fell from 20.5% to 15.8%, according to RAND.
Less than 1 million citizens who previously had individual market coverage became uninsured, researchers found. RAND was unable to deduce if those people lost their insurance due to cancellation, or because coverage costs were too high. People in this category represented less than 1% of those between the ages of 18 and 64.
Overall, the ACA did not change health coverage choices for most insured Americans, as 80% of those surveyed still had the same type of coverage in March 2014 as in September 2013, according to RAND.
The RAND figures comprised not only signups under the new ACA-established marketplaces, but also new enrollments in employer coverage and Medicaid. Results were extrapolated from a survey of 2,425 adults between the ages of 18 and 64, who responded to the RAND survey in both March 2014 and September 2013.