NHIS Report on Health Insurance Coverage

June 20, 2013

NCHS has released a report on selected estimates of health insurance coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population based on data from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey.

Key Findings from the Report:

• In 2012, 45.5 million persons of all ages were uninsured at the time of interview, 57.7 million  had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to interview, and 34.1 million had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview.
• An estimated 14.7% of the population were uninsured (at the time of the interview) in 2012, compared to 15.4% in 1997.
• In 2012, 4.9 million children under age 18 were uninsured at the time of interview.
• In 2012, the percentage of persons interview, among the 43 states included in this report, ranged from 4.8% in Massachusetts to 20.9% in Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Texas.
• In 2012, 31.1% of persons under age 65 with private health insurance at the time of interview were enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), including 10.8% who were enrolled in a consumer directed health plan. More
than 50% of persons with a private plan obtained by means other than through employment were enrolled in an HDHP.
• An estimated 21.6% of persons with private health insurance were in a family with a flexible spending account  for medical expenses.

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Smoking on the Decline, Data From the 2012 National Health Interview Survey Show

June 20, 2013

Fewer than 1 in 5 American adults now smoke, according to new data just released from the 2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). An estimated 18% of people in the U.S. age 18 and over are current smokers, down significantly from the 25% who were smokers a decade and a half ago – and down dramatically from the 42% who smoked back in 1965.

The new smoking data are one of 15 selected health measures featured in the latest Early Release of data from the NHIS, which presents estimates from 1997 through 2011 for comparison. These 15 measures are updated quarterly, and are featured in the latest edition of “Stat Line.”

Please click here to see the early release measures that are also listed below.

Complete copy of release Adobe PDF file [PDF – 947 KB] (6/18/2013)

  1. Lack of health insurance coverage and type of coverage
  2. Usual place to go for medical care
  3. Obtaining needed medical care
  4. Receipt of influenza vaccination
  5. Receipt of pneumococcal vaccination
  6. Obesity
  7. Leisure-time physical activity
  8. Current smoking
  9. Alcohol consumption
  10. Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing
  11. General health status
  12. Personal care needs
  13. Serious psychological distress
  14. Diagnosed diabetes
  15. Asthma episodes and current asthma

List of Early Releases

 


Number of American Homes with only Wireless Telephones Growing

June 20, 2013

The trend towards ditching our landline telephones continues, according to a new report from NCHS. Nearly two in every five American homes had only wireless telephones (also known as cellular telephones, cell phones, or mobile phones) during the second half of 2012—an increase of 2.4 percentage points since the first half of 2012.

In addition, nearly one of every six American homes received all or almost all calls on wireless telephones despite also having a landline telephone.

Some other key findings:

Cell phone

  • Men were more likely than women to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • Six in 10 adults aged 25–29 lived in households with only wireless telephones. This rate is greater than the rates for adults aged 18–24 or 30–34 The percentage of adults living in households with only wireless telephones decreased as age increased beyond 35 years.
  • Hispanic adults were more likely than non-Hispanic white adults or non-Hispanic black adults to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • More than three in four adults living only with unrelated adult roommates were in households with only wireless telephones. This rate is higher than the rate for adults living alone and the rate for adults
  • living only with spouses or other adult family members.
  • Three in five adults renting their home had only wireless telephones. This rate is more than twice the rate for adults owning their home.
  • Adults living in poverty were more likely than adults living near poverty and higher income adults to be living in households with only wireless telephones.
  • Adults living in the Midwest (40.6%), South (39.7%), and West (37.8%) were more likely than those living in the Northeast (23.6%) to be living in households with only wireless telephones.

 


Families Who Have Problems Paying Medical Bills

June 5, 2013

NCHS has released a report on comparable estimates for the percentage of persons under age 65 who were in families having problems paying medical bills, by selected demographic variables based on data from three consecutive 6-month periods from January–June 2011 to January–June 2012 of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS).

In this report, an NHIS “family” is defined as an individual or a group of two or more related persons living together in the same housing unit. Thus, a family can consist of only one person. In some instances, unrelated persons sharing the same household may also be considered as one family, such as an unmarried couple living together.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • The percentage of persons under age 65 who were in families having problems paying medical bills decreased from 21.7% (57.8 million) in the first 6 months of 2011 to 20.3% (54.2 million) in the first 6 months of 2012.
  • Within each 6-month period from January 2011 through June 2012, children aged 0–17 years were more likely than adults aged 18–64 to be in families having problems paying medical bills.
  • The percentage of children aged 0–17 years who were in families having problems paying medical bills decreased from 23.7% in the first 6 months of 2011 to 21.8% in the first 6 months of 2012.
  • In the first 6 months of 2012, among persons under age 65, 36.3% of those who were uninsured, 14.0% of those who had private coverage, and 25.6% of those who had public coverage were in families having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months.
  • In the first 6 months of 2012, 30.3% of poor, 34.1% of near poor, and 14.1% of not poor persons under age 65 were in families having problems paying medical bills in the past 12 months.