A new U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) report shows that the national uninsured rate reached an all-time low of 8 percent in early 2022.
The report, published by HHS’s Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), analyzed data from the National Health Interview Survey and American Community Survey and showed that 5.2 million people have gained coverage since 2020. HHS said the increase in coverage coincides with the beginning of the Biden-Harris Administration in January 2021 and its efforts to increase health care access and lower costs for Americans through the American Rescue Plan’s enhanced marketplace subsidies, the continuous enrollment provision in Medicaid, several recent state Medicaid expansions, and substantial enrollment outreach in 2021 and 2022.
“Our new report shows that the uninsured rate in the country reached an all-time low this year–welcome news and proof that our efforts to protect and expand on the Affordable Care Act are paying off,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in the report announcement. “As we move forward, the Department of Health and Human Services will continue to do everything we can to protect, expand, and strengthen the programs that provide the quality, affordable health care Americans rely on and deserve. And I'm hopeful that with Congressional action we can continue the work to lower costs for more Americans by both extending the enhanced Affordable Care Act tax credits that have helped drive the uninsured rate to an all-time low and increasing the affordability of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries r–reducing their cost sharing and allowing Medicare to negotiate a better deal on prescription drug prices.”
Here are six findings from the ASPE report:
- The nation’s uninsured rate declined significantly in 2021 and early 2022, reaching an all-time low of 8.0 percent for U.S. residents of all ages in the first quarter (January-March) of 2022, based on new data from the National Health Interview Survey, compared to the prior low of 9.0 percent in 2016.
- Approximately 5.2 million people–including 4.1 million adults ages 18-64 and 1 million children ages 0-17–have gained health coverage since 2020
- Uninsured rates among adults ages 18-64 declined from 14.5 percent in late 2020 to 11.8 percent in early 2022. The uninsured rate among children ages 0-17, which had increased during 2019 and 2020, fell from 6.4 percent in late 2020 to 3.7 percent in early 2022.
- Approximately 5.4 percent of adults 18-64 reported having marketplace coverage in early 2022 compared to 4.4 percent in 2020, reflecting approximately 2 million additional adult marketplace enrollees–half of the 4 million adults who gained health coverage over this period.
- Changes in uninsured rates from 2020 to 2022 were largest among individuals with incomes below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) and incomes between 200 percent and 400 percent FPL.
- State-specific analyses using the American Community Survey show that the largest changes in the uninsured rate for low-income adults between 2018-2020 occurred in states that recently expanded Medicaid. More recent state estimates beyond 2020 are not yet available.