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Life Health > Health Insurance

CDC finds 6.7 million exchange plan enrollees

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The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that 6.7 million U.S. residents under age 65, or about 2.5 percent of the people in that age group, had exchange-based coverage in the last quarter of 2014.

See also: Individual health gains as group health shrinks

Penetration of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) exchange coverage was about the same as in the second and third quarters of 2014, and up from 1.4 percent of the under-65 population in the first quarter.

Exchange plans had no enrollees before Jan. 1, 2014.

In the fourth quarter of 2014, exchange plans were covering 1.3 percent of U.S. residents under age 18, 2.5 percent of residents ages 18 to 29, and 3.1 percent of residents ages 30 to 64.

The CDC has reported those figures in a release of data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) series.

See also: CDC: Americans report better care access

The CDC found that the percentage of people under age 65 who were uninsured at the time of the NHIS interview fell to 13.3 percent, from 16.6 percent in 2013, before the PPACA exchange system came to life and some states used PPACA funding to expand their Medicaid programs.

The CDC found that the percentage of people under 65 with what officials classified as public health plan coverage increased to 24.5 percent in 2014, from 23.8 percent in 2013. The percentage of people under 65 with public coverage was up from 13.6 percent in 1997 and is the highest the CDC has recorded.

The CDC classified people who had exchange plan coverage as people with private health insurance coverage.

Using that definition, the percentage of people with private coverage increased to 63.6 percent in 2014, from 61 percent in 2013.

If people with exchange-based coverage were excluded from the privately insured total; the percentage of people with private coverage would have been given as 61.1 percent. The standard error for the figure is 0.52 percentage points, meaning that, excluding people enrolled in private exchange plans, the percentage of people who had private coverage in 2014 was about the same as it was in 2013.

See also: Overall private health insurance use rises

One indicator of how much access people really have to care is the percentage of people who have a usual place to go for medical care. The percentage of U.S. residents who said they had a usual place to go for medical care increased to 87.9 percent in 2014, from 86.5 percent in 2013.

The percentage who said they had failed to obtain needed medical care within the past 12 months due to cost fell to 5.3 percent in 2014, from 5.9 percent the year before.


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