A day after a stunning court decision that threatens a crucial component of Obamacare, the federal government said Wednesday that 10.3 million adults have become newly insured by the close of open enrollment in the new type of health coverage.
The new enrollments, which came in both Obamacare plans and in Medicaid plans that have expanded eligibility, led to a 5.2 percent drop in the nation's adult uninsured rate after taking into account several factors, officials said.
The study, being published Tuesday evening in the New England Journal of Medicine, comes on the heels of recent reports that also showed decreases in the overall uninsured rate since the Obamacare insurance exchanges launched last fall.
Like a prior study, the NEJM study found that Latinos, blacks and younger adults saw the biggest drops in their uninsured rate.
The number of people who gained coverage during that time frame is of keen interest in the health policy world because of debates about whether Obamacare will lead to a net reduction in the uninsured, or whether most enrollees in exchange-sold plans are merely replacing old plans rendered illegal by Affordable Care Act minimum standards. Open enrollment in Obamacare insurance ended in mid-April, while Medicaid enrollment continues year-round.
"According to the authors' findings, the uninsured rate for adults ages 18 to 64 fell from 21 percent in September 2013 to 16.3 percent in April 2014," HHS said in a press release announcing the study.
"After taking into account economic factors and pre-existing trends, this corresponded to a 5.2 percentage-point change, or 10.3 million adults gaining coverage."