Uninsured rate in U.S. is at lowest point in at least 7 years

During the second quarter of this year, 11.4 percent of adults in the U.S. were uninsured, the lowest rate since Gallup and Healthways began tracking it seven years ago.

The rate peaked at 18.0 percent in the fourth quarter of 2013, which was before the federal government implemented the individual mandate that requires most adults to have insurance. Under the law, which was part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, people are taxed if they do not have coverage.

Since the fourth quarter of 2013, the uninsured rate has decreased in all subgroups, but it was most noticeable in Hispanics (9.6 percentage points) and blacks (8.9 percentage points). In addition, the uninsured rate among people earning less than $36,000 per year has decreased from 30.7 percent to 20.8 percent.

The Gallup and Healthways poll included telephone interviews with 43,575 U.S. adults from April 1 to June 30. The survey only included people from 18 to 64 because most people who are 65 or older are covered by Medicare. They were from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Of the adults surveyed, 43.4 percent had insurance through a current or former employer, which was similar to the fourth quarter of 2013.

With enrollment for 2016 coverage beginning on Nov. 1, Gallup predicted that the uninsured rate could decline at a slower rate than in previous quarters because the individual mandate has been in place now for several quarters.

Read more on the poll results here.