According to a new Gallup poll, fewer Americans reported not having enough money in the past 12 months to pay for necessary healthcare and/or medicines for themselves or their families than at any point since Gallup and Healthways began tracking this metric in 2008.
As noted by a Gallup article, the percentage of Americans who experienced difficulty in the past 12 months affording healthcare and medicine was fairly steady from 2008 through 2013, with an average of 18.7%. The average since then has been 16.4%, including the new quarterly low of 15.5% in the most recent quarter.
Gallup bases these findings on interviews conducted daily from January 2008 through March 2016 as part of its Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index. Americans are classified as healthcare insecure if they report being unable to pay for healthcare and/or medicines they or their family needed at some point in the past 12 months, according to Gallup and Healthways.
The percentage of U.S. adults with healthcare insecurity has dropped 3.5 percentage points since the fourth quarter of 2013. This drop in healthcare insecurity coincides with the decline in the percentage of uninsured Americans, which has fallen from 17.1% in the fourth quarter of 2013—before the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that Americans have health insurance went into effect— to 11.0% in the first quarter of this year, the article noted.
The increase in the percentage of Americans having health insurance is likely a key reason why fewer Americans are struggling to pay for healthcare, the article pointed out.