In 2017, the number of uninsured Americans rose by 1.3 percentage points, or the equivalent of 3.2 million people, according to new data from Gallup and Sharecare released Tuesday.

It is the first increase since the Affordable Care Act’s main features took effect after several years of decline.

The largest increases in the uninsured rate were among African-American (2.3 percentage points) and Hispanic (2.2 percentage points) adults. Households making less than $36,000 a year saw a 2.0 percent increase, which was larger than higher incomes.

The uninsured rate in the fourth quarter of 2017 was 12.2 percent, which was almost the same as the 12.3 percent rate the survey found in the third quarter. However, it’s up from a low point of 10.9 percent recorded in the quarter of 2016. The uninsured rate is down from its peak of 18 percent in the third quarter of 2013, shortly before Obamacare’s subsidized exchanges opened.

Premiums also went up significantly in 2017 when the Trump administration cut off cost-sharing reduction payments to insurance companies. However, the vast majority of people on the individual market were shielded from the increase by a bump in their federal tax credits.



Image Courtesy: