Jan 7 (Reuters) - The percentage of Americans without health insurance fell 4.2 percentage points to an average of 12.9 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014 due to the expansion of coverage through the U.S. Affordable Care Act, according to a Gallup poll released on Wednesday.
The decline was compared with a year earlier, when the new coverage had not yet gone into effect. It is also off from 13.4 percent in the third quarter, the survey found.
The Affordable Care Act expanded Medicaid coverage to more people in about half the U.S. states and also introduced new coverage nationwide that is available to all individuals regardless of health status and is subsidized based on income. Enrollment for the plans for 2015 is open until Feb. 15.
The poll found that the uninsured rate among black people dropped seven percentage points from a year earlier, and for uninsured Hispanics, the rate fell 6.3 percentage points.
The survey is based on interviews with 43,000 U.S. adults between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, 2014. (Reporting by Caroline Humer; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)