Obamacare

In Commerce on March 31, people wait to complete paperwork to beat the deadline to acquire healthcare coverage through the Affordable Care Act. (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times / March 31, 2014)

Just 14.7% of adults lacked coverage in the second half of March, down from 18% in the last quarter of 2013, the survey from Gallup found.

The survey results, which track with other recent polling data and enrollment reports, indicate that about 8 million people have gained health insurance since September. That figure takes into account any losses in coverage the law may have brought about by the cancellation of health plans that did not meet the new standards.

Gallup’s survey highlights a historic expansion in coverage unparalleled since the creation of Medicare and Medicaid half a century ago.

It also undermines critics’ persistent claims that the law has done little to expand health insurance.

“The uninsured rate has been falling since the fourth quarter of 2013 … a sign that the Affordable Care Act, commonly referred to as Obamacare, appears to be accomplishing its goal of increasing the percentage of Americans with health insurance coverage,” Gallup’s Jenna Levy wrote in an article describing the new poll results.

The gains found by the survey would include several new sources of coverage.

Under the law, Americans could begin shopping Oct. 1 for health coverage on new marketplaces in which insurers could no longer turn away sick customers. As of the end of March, about 7.1 million people had signed up that way, the administration said. Some of them previously had no insurance.