Number of uninsured adults up but still under 2013 rate

The percentage of U.S. adults without health insurance is the highest it’s been since 2014, according to research done by Gallup and Sharecare.

In the third quarter of 2017 that figure rose to 12.3 percent, up 1.4 points since the end of 2016. That represents almost 3.5 million Americans who have fallen from the ranks of the insured since the end of 2016. Even so, that number is still well below the peak uninsured rate of 18 percent reached in the third quarter of 2013, before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) required health care coverage and implemented a fine for any uninsured American.

Research indicates that several factors could be contributing to the rise in the uninsured rate. One might be that some insurance companies have stopped offering insurance through the exchanges and that lack of competition could be driving up the costs for consumers, Gallup reported. Another might be that, as politicians attempt to replace the health care law, Americans might question if the fine will be enforced for the uninsured.

The rate of adults lacking insurance has risen at least a point among all demographic groups except for senior adults 65 and over. (TAB)