Press Release

For Immediate Release Contact


Sue Ducat
Director of Communications
(301) 841-9962


From Health Affairs:


16.9 Million Americans Gained Coverage From September 2013 To February 2015



Bethesda, MDFrom September 2013 to February 2015 the number of US uninsured dropped from 42.7 million to 25.8 million, when the second open enrollment period of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) ended. A new study, being released by Health Affairs as a Web First, and also appearing in its June issue, examines changes in insurance coverage since the ACA coverage-related provisions first took effect. This study is also part of the journal's recently re-established DataWatch series, featuring timely health-related data and surveys.  

During this period, 22.8 million people gained coverage while 5.9 million lost coverage, for a net increase of 16.9 million people gaining insurance. Overall, the number gaining coverage was more than three times as large as the number of people losing coverage. Most who gained coverage did so between September 2013 and May 2014. The study also found that among the 22.8 million who gained insurance, most enrolled in employer-sponsored insurance, which remains the largest source of insurance among Americans younger than 65. 
Many also gained coverage through states that expanded eligibility for their Medicaid program; others purchased coverage through the federal and state health insurance Marketplaces. Of the 155.8 million Americans who were insured in September 2013, however, 80 percent experienced no change in insurance status or source of coverage during the study period. The authors noted that despite substantial coverage gains, approximately 16 percent of the US population remains uninsured. 


Trends In Health Insurance Enrollment


By Katherine Grace Carman, Christine Eibner, and Susan Paddock


All authors are affiliated with the RAND Corporation and Pardee RAND Graduate School.


For their analysis, the authors used longitudinal data from the RAND Health Reform Opinion Study to estimate transitions across insurance coverage types. The study followed a cohort of people from September 2013 through February 2015, which allowed the authors to follow people starting immediately before the ACA's first open enrollment period and track how their insurance status changed through the end of the ACA's second open enrollment period. The study focused on adults ages 18-64, the group most likely to have been affected by recent coverage expansions. The survey was conducted using the RAND American Life Panel, a nationally representative panel of individuals.


About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published periodically at The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all website visitors for a one-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Web First papers are supported in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download our podcasts, including monthly Narrative Matters essays, on iTunes. Tap into Health Affairs content with the new iPad app.