Uninsured rate falls below 10 percent

For the first time since 1972, the rate of uninsured people in the U.S. has fallen below 10 percent, according to the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics. That figure is one of several positive trends discussed in a new report from the National Health Interview Survey. The report shows a continued decline in the uninsured rate since 2013.

Other facts in the report include:

  • The current uninsured rate is 9.2%, or 29 million people. In the last year alone, 7 million more people have become insured.
  • The rate of children with private insurance coverage reversed a 14-year decline, increasing from 52.6% in 2013 to its current level of 56.3%.
  • Three million people obtained private coverage through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state exchanges in the first 3 months of 2015, increasing the number of people under 65 with this type of coverage from 6.7 million to 9.7 million.

The statistics are good news both for patients, who have greater access to care and are less likely to delay preventive services, and for providers, who gain from a larger pool of patients. The shrinking number of uninsured patients may also mean fewer write-offs in the business office.

For staff in admissions and billing departments, these trends increase the importance of working efficiently and accurately to accommodate the greater numbers of patients and payers. But with the right workflows in place, providers can hopefully appreciate the big picture—more patients in the system means better public health.