Census report: Insurers gained 1.3M new members

For the first time in a decade, health insurers can celebrate the release of the Census Bureau report--the total number of insured people has finally increased while the number of privately insured people held stable.

The Census Bureau found that 1.3 million people gained insurance from 2010 to 2011, dropping the total proportion of uninsured people to 15.7 percent. That's the first decline in the uninsured rate since 2007, according to The Washington Post.

Although the number of people with private health insurance remained stable at almost 64 percent, it was the first time in 10 years that the percentage of people with private insurance didn't decline, Bloomberg reported.

"The number of people who have private insurance is stable and that's really good news obviously, and we're working very hard to help employers make that possible," America's Health Insurance Plans CEO Karen Ignagni said in an interview on Bloomberg Television.

And despite the continued downturn in the job market, employment-based insurance coverage actually increased, most likely because young adults now can remain on their parents' health plans until they turn 26. Roughly 540,000 young people gained health coverage in 2011, increasing the proportion of young adults with insurance to 27.7 percent.

Like a study from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released last week, the Census report didn't directly attribute the increased insured rate to the reform law's young adult provision, Politico reported. That's because some states already required coverage of young adults and some major insurers vowed to cover young adults even if the reform law was repealed, David Johnson, chief of the Census Bureau's Social, Economic and Housing Statistics Division, said on a call with reporters.

To learn more:
- see the Post article
- read the Politico article
- check out the Bloomberg article

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