(WASHINGTON) — The nation’s rate of uninsured adults has fallen from 17.1 percent during the last quarter of 2013 to 15.9 percent due to millions of Americans signing up for the Affordable Care Act.
If the sign-ups continue at the same pace, the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index says the number of uninsured in the U.S. could drop under 15.4 percent, the level before President Obama took office.
The end of the open enrollment season is March 31. Those who fail to sign up for mandatory health insurance will be responsible for a “shared responsibility payment” when filing their tax returns in 2015. This penalty is about $95 per adult.
The Department of Health and Human Service reports progress in enrolling each major demographic group with the exception of Hispanics.
Ironically, this is the group that could stand to reap the most benefits from the ACA as many Hispanics don’t work at jobs that offer medical insurance.
As with the healthcare.gov website, the Spanish-language enrollment website, CuidadodeSalud.gov, also got off to a rocky start due to technical and language problems.
Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio
Nate Eaton, EastIdahoNews.com
Stefania Okolie and Gabrielle Harmon, CNN
Aria Hangyu Chen, Special to CNN