A new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) revealed approximately 16.4 million Americans have health insurance since the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) implementation in 2010, most notably among the Latino population.

The federal Health Department acknowledged the uninsured rate among Latinos and African Americans dropped significantly compared to whites. According to the HHS, the "baseline uninsured rate" of the Latino population was 41.8 percent before the ACA's implementation. Following the first quarter of 2015, the uninsured rate among Latinos dropped by 12.3 percent, which is the largest percentage rate decline compared to African Americans and whites. The HHS noted the 12.3 percent decline equated to 4.2 million Latinos gaining health insurance coverage.

"After working tirelessly over the first two enrollment periods to connect uninsured Americans with their new health insurance options under the [ACA], we celebrate today's news that 16.4 million Americans have gained health insurance since the law's passage. Not only are the sheer numbers impressive, but also we can see the law making a real impact on the uninsured rate, especially for Latinos and African-Americans," said Anne Filipic, president of Enroll America, a nonprofit national health care enrollment coalition.

Enroll America has collaborated with the HHS to enroll Americans, but Filipic added more work has to be done to reach those who are still uninsured and guarantee the newly insured retain their coverage. She continued, "Today we take a moment to savor the genuine progress that we've made."

With the African American population, the baseline uninsured rate was 22.4 percent prior to the ACA going in effect. Since the first quarter of 2015, the uninsured rate among African Americans dropped by 9.2 percent. Whites had a low baseline uninsured rate compared to Latinos and African Americans, with 14.3 percent. Since 2015's first quarter, the uninsured rate among whites declined by 5.3 percent.

"Since the passage of the ACA almost five years ago, about 16.4 million uninsured people have gained health coverage - the largest reduction in the uninsured in four decades," said HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell. "Because of the ACA, young adults are able to stay on their parents' plans until age 26, states can expand their Medicaid programs, and tax credits are available to millions of Americans in all 50 states, making health care coverage more affordable and accessible. When it comes to the key metrics of affordability, access, and quality, the evidence shows that the Affordable Care Act is working, and families, businesses and taxpayers are better off as a result."

Overall, the uninsured rate declined from 20.3 percent during October 2013 to 13.2 percent as of March 4. Within the millennial population, specifically 19-to-25-year-olds, 3.4 million Americans gained health insurance coverage. Since 2010, when the first provisions of the ACA went into effect, a total of 5.7 million young adults gained health coverage.


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