State: Number of uninsured drops by 15 percent

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HELENA, Mont. (AP) — State officials say about 30,000 more Montana residents are enrolled in a health insurance plan than were before the Affordable Care Act enrollment period took place.

State Insurance Office Deputy Commissioner Adam Schafer told a legislative panel Tuesday his office surveyed the state's largest insurance companies to learn whether the number of uninsured decreased after the federal health care overhaul.

The total number of uninsured people in the state was estimated at 195,000 in 2013. With 30,000 of those people now enrolled in a health insurance plan, Schafer says the percentage of uninsured people has dropped from 20 percent to 15.4 percent.

Schafer presented the preliminary findings to the Economic Affairs Interim Committee. He called the increase significant, saying people now have access to more than just emergency care.

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