by Dennis Domrzalski, Reporter-Albuquerque Business First
The Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion have helped lower the percentage of U.S. adults who don’t have health insurance, according to a new study by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
The percentage of uninsured adults fell to 15.2 percent in March from 17.9 percent in September 2013, the study said. It means that approximately 5.4 million adults got insurance during the period.
States like New Mexico that expanded Medicaid coverage saw their uninsured rates drop by an average of 4 percent compared to a 1.5 percent reduction in states that didn’t expand Medicaid.
The study didn’t have state-specific figures, but before the ACA and Medicaid expansion took effect at the beginning of the year, about 400,000, or 22.6 percent New Mexico residents were uninsured.
“This represents a major step forward for the 5.4 million previously uninsured people who now have health coverage,” said RWJF President and CEO Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey. “There is a great deal more work to be done in this area, but today’s news provides hope and encouragement to all of us who seek to build a culture of health in America by expanding access to coverage.”
As of March 15, about 18,000 New Mexicans had enrolled in insurance plans through the federal governments healthcare.gov website. And since October, 103,000 state residents have enrolled in Medicaid, swelling the program’s rolls to 603,000 New Mexicans.