Number of Americans without health insurance falls to new low

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The number of Americans with health insurance continues to rise, as the number of those without health insurance coverage hits an all-time low.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that the numbers of uninsured Americans hit 8% this year.

The decline in uninsured Americans began last year, when Congress and President Biden signed off on a $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief bill that lowered premiums and out-of-pocket costs for new or returning customers purchasing plans through the Affordable Care Act’s private health insurance markets.

Americans with health insurance

FILE – Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra speaks during a news conference June 28, 2022, in Washington. The number of people living in America without health insurance coverage hit an all-time low of 8 percent this year. ((AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File) / AP Newsroom)

The uninsured rate fell to just under nine percent last year with the improved subsidies. 

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The improvement was helped by an increase in advertising and more counselors who helped sign up people for plans during the open enrollment season last year.

President Biden talks health care in State of the Union

President Joe Biden talks about a new plan to expand mental health and drug abuse treatment during his State of the Union address. (AP Newsroom / AP Newsroom)

“Every American has the right to the peace of mind that comes with access to affordable, quality health care,” President Biden said in a statement Tuesday about the record-low rate of uninsured Americans.

Prior to last year, the uninsured rate had consistently remained in the double digits for decades. 

The number of uninsured Americans began dropping after the ACA, which expanded Medicaid and offers health insurance to people who lack job-based coverage through a mix of subsidized private plans, was enacted in 2010.

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Democrats recently completed a 725-page climate, heath care and tax deal that would extend federal subsidies for people who buy private health insurance that are credited with driving down the uninsured rates. 

A woman In consultation with a doctor during an examination. (iStock / iStock)

Democrats have proposed spending $64 billion to extend those price breaks for three more years.

“We know that access to quality, affordable health care is key to healthier lives, economic security, and peace of mind,” HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement Tuesday.

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Roughly 26 million people remain without health insurance in the U.S. Just under 2 percent of children are now uninsured.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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