Medicaid expansion and outreach, also components of ACA, were already underway when the individual mandate took effect in 2014, and they largely explain growing rates of public coverage among children. As adults turned to insurance marketplaces to enroll in private coverage in response to the individual mandate, children also experienced an increase in private coverage alongside their adult counterparts. Federal subsidies and premium tax credits to low-income and qualifying individuals also took effect in 2014, and these may have encouraged families to enroll in private health plans.
Finally, a more robust employment market, including jobs that provide health coverage to employees and dependents, may have also bolstered rates of private insurance.
This analysis is based on U.S. Census Bureau estimates from the American Community Survey for years 2008–2014. Tables were produced by aggregating information from detailed tables available at the Census Bureau’s American FactFinder (http://factfinder2.census.gov). Because estimates are based on survey data, caution must be used when comparing data from different years, as the margin of error may indicate that seemingly disparate numbers fall within sampling error (see the Census Bureau’s published tables for detailed margins of error, available at http://www.census.gov/acs/www/Downloads/handbooks/ACSResearch.pdf). All differences highlighted in this brief are statistically significant (p < 0.05).