The Census Bureau reported that the percentage of people without health insurance fell by 0.3 percentage points in 2016 to 8.8 percent. This puts the cumulative gain in coverage since 2013, when the main Affordable Care Act provisions took effect, at 4.5 percentage points.

By state, the largest drop in the percent of the population that is uninsured was in California, which had a decline of 9.8 percentage points to 7.3 percent. Next was New Mexico with a decline of 9.5 percentage points, giving it an uninsurance rate of 9.2 percent, and Nevada with a drop of 9.3 percentage points to 11.4 percent.

The smallest decline over this period was in Massachusetts, where the percent uninsured fell by just 1.2 percentage points, but this is due to the fact that it had an uninsured rate of just 3.7 percent in 2013. Wyoming had the second smallest decline, with the rate falling by 1.3 percentage points to 11.5 percent.

Texas, Alaska, and Oklahoma had the highest uninsured rate in 2016, at 16.6 percent, 14.0 percent, and 13.8 percent, respectively. The lowest rates were in Massachusetts, 2.5 percent, Hawaii, 3.5 percent, and Vermont, 3.7 percent.

By employment, the biggest increase in coverage was among those working part-time. The percentage uninsured among this group fell by 9.0 percentage points to 14.8 percent. For those who did not work at all, the percent of uninsured fell by 7.4 percentage points to 15.0 percent. For full-time, full-year, workers the drop was 4.1 percentage points to 9.8 percent.

On the whole, these newest numbers indicate that Obamacare has succeeded somewhat more than expected in extending coverage. The biggest beneficiaries have been people who choose to work part-time (80 percent of part-time employment is voluntary), who no longer need to get coverage through an employer as a result of the exchanges and the expansion of Medicaid.

 

Note: Percent of uninsured for Wyoming has been corrected; thanks, Charles Angevine.