PPACA boosts self-funded, Medicaid enrollees

Obamacare has sharply increased the number of consumers buying their own insurance and those on Medicaid, a new Gallup poll finds.

Gallup revealed that 20 percent of consumers either were buying individual or self-funded insurance as of April, up from 16.7 percent in August 2013. And 9 percent were enrolled in a Medicaid program, up 6.8 percent from August.

Data was collected as a part of the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, and are based on a nationally representative sample of 14,000 interviews with adults each month.

Gallup last week reported that the overall percentage of uninsured Americans among all age groups dropped to 13.4 percent in April, the lowest monthly measurement since Gallup and Healthways began ongoing tracking in January 2008.

Meanwhile, Gallup said the percentage of Americans aged 18 to 64 who report having health insurance through an employer, Medicare, military or veteran’s coverage, or a union has been fairly stable over the last nine months.

The increases in coverage are a “direct result” of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, Gallup researchers said.

The increase in those reporting having Medicaid for health coverage, Gallup said, is likely the result of the expanded program under PPACA; 21 states, and the District of Columbia, have expanded their Medicaid programs.

“The exchanges were most likely to help those not offered or not eligible for health insurance through their employer, a union, or military and veteran's coverage, and those ineligible for Medicare and Medicaid,” Gallup said. “Given the way the law is structured, the gains seen in health insurance coverage are most likely to occur in the self-funded and Medicaid categories.”

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