Skip to main content

National Uninsured Rate Hit All-Time Low This Year

Analysis  |  By Jay Asser  
   August 11, 2022

HHS released a report showing 5.2 million people have gained health insurance since 2020 as a result of the Biden administration's efforts to expand coverage.

The national uninsured rate reached a record-low of 8% in the first quarter of the year, according to a report by HHS.

The report examines data from the National Health Interview Survey and the American Community Survey to analyze changes in health insurance coverage from January to March.

Besting the previous low of 9% in 2016, the new all-time mark comes after 5.2 million people gained insurance coverage since 2020, HHS announced. The progress aligns with the Biden administration's efforts to expand coverage and lower costs through the American Rescue Plan, along with the continuous enrolment provision and state expansions with Medicaid.

"As we move forward, the Department of Health and Human Services will continue to do everything we can to protect, expand, and strengthen the programs that provide the quality, affordable health care Americans rely on and deserve," HHS secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.

"And I'm hopeful that with Congressional action we can continue the work to lower costs for more Americans by both extending the enhanced Affordable Care Act tax credits that have helped drive the uninsured rate to an all-time low and increasing the affordability of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries -- reducing their cost sharing and allowing Medicare to negotiate a better deal on prescription drug prices."

Other findings in the report include that the uninsured rate for adults aged 18-64 declined from 14.5% in late 2020 to 11.8% in the first quarter of 2022. For children aged 0-17, the uninsured rate dropped from 6.4% in 2020 to 3.7% this year after previously increasing during 2019 and 2020.

Meanwhile, changes in uninsured rates from 2020 to 2022 were largest among people with income below 100% of the federal poverty line (FPL) and income between 200% and 400% FPL.

Jay Asser is the contributing editor for strategy at HealthLeaders. 

Get the latest on healthcare leadership in your inbox.