After the close of the initial Obamacare sign-up period on March 31, a RAND Corp. survey found that there had been a net gain of 9.3 million insured Americans.
Before enrollment started, RAND says there were 40.7 million Americans without health insurance. Since then 14.5 million have obtained coverage while 5.2 million have lost it, resulting in the 9.3 million net-gain figure.
Meanwhile, Gallup reports that the U.S. uninsured rate fell to 15.6 percent from 20.5 percent during the process.
Analysts from Express Scripts, a pharmacy benefit management company, conclude that Obamacare enrollees are generally sicker than those with company policies. They drew this conclusion from the types of drugs the new enrollees have been obtaining under their plans.
“Our early analysis reveals that, in January and February, use of specialty medications was greater among exchange enrollees vs. patients enrolled in a commercial health plan,” Express Scripts said in its report. “Approximately 1.1 percent of total prescriptions in exchange plans were for specialty medications, compared to 0.75 percent in commercial health plans, a 47 percent difference.”
Specialty medications are used to treat HIV/AIDS, autoimmune disorders and cancer.