Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-September 2016

February 14, 2017
Michael Martinez, M.P.H., M.H.S.A., Epidemiologist and Health Statistician

Michael Martinez, M.P.H., M.H.S.A., Epidemiologist and Health Statistician

Questions for Michael Martinez, M.P.H., M.H.S.A., Epidemiologist, Health Statistician and Lead Author on “Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January-September 2016

Q: What do you think is the most significant finding in your new study?

MM: I think the most significant finding in this study is the snapshot view of varied health insurance types. While from January through September 2016, among adults aged 18 to 64, 12.3% were uninsured at the time of interview, 20.3% had public coverage, and 69.0% had private health insurance coverage. Among the 136.0 million adults in this age group with private coverage, 9.3 million–or 4.7%–were covered by private health insurance plans obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges during the first 9 months of 2016.


Q: How did health insurance coverage in the United States compare in the first 9 months of 2016 to 2015 and 2010?

MM: We’ve observed a number of changes in health insurance coverage between 2010 and 2015 compared to the first 9 months of 2016. Between 2010 and the first 9 months of 2016, 20.4 million persons of all ages gained coverage. In the first 9 months of 2016, 28.2 million (8.8%) persons of all ages were uninsured at the time of interview, compared with 48.6 million (16.0%) persons in 2010 and 28.6 million (9.1%) persons in 2015. The difference in uninsured estimates between 2015 and the first 9 months of 2016 was not significant.


Q: Where do high-deductible plans through private health insurance fit into 2016 estimates compared to earlier years?

MM: Among private health insurance plans, enrollment in high-deductible health plans has been increasing in recent years. 39.1% of persons under age 65 with private health insurance were enrolled in high-deductible health plans in the first 9 months of 2016. This percentage has increased significantly, from 25.3% in 2010 and from 36.7% in 2015.


Q: What are the trends among race and ethnicity groups in health insurance coverage this year and compared over time?

MM: There’s been quite a bit of change in health insurance coverage among race and ethnicity groups over the years. For example, in the first 9 months of 2016, 24.7% of Hispanic, 15.1% of non-Hispanic black, 8.5% of non-Hispanic white, and 7.8% of non-Hispanic Asian adults aged 18–64 lacked health insurance coverage at the time of interview. Significant decreases in the percentage of uninsured adults were observed between 2013 and the first 9 months of 2016 for Hispanic, non-Hispanic black, non-Hispanic white, and non-Hispanic Asian adults. Hispanic adults had the greatest percentage point decrease in the uninsured rate between 2013 (40.6%) and the first 9 months of 2016 (24.7%).


Q: How is health insurance coverage looking this year for our youngest population – children under 18 years of age?

MM: From January through September 2016, among children under 18 years of age, 5.0% were uninsured at the time of interview, 43.4% had public coverage, and 53.5% had private health insurance coverage. Among the 39.3 million children under 18 years of age with private coverage, 1.7 million or 2.3% were covered by private health insurance plans obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges during the first 9 months of 2016.


Health, United States Spotlight Infographics September 2016

September 21, 2016

hus_0916_screenshotHealth, United States Spotlights are infographics of selected health data available in Health, United States, the annual report on the health of the nation submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and Congress.

Each Spotlight displays approximately four health indicators allowing users to visualize and interpret complex information from different data systems and Health, United States subject areas.

This infographic features indicators from the report’s Health Care Expenditures & Payers subject area.

The full Health, United States reports are available at:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm


Health, United States Spotlight Infographics Spring 2016

June 13, 2016

Health, United States spotlight16_spring_thumbnailSpotlights are infographics of selected health data available in Health, United States, the annual report on the health of the nation submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and Congress.

Each Spotlight displays approximately four health indicators allowing users to visualize and interpret complex information from different data systems and Health, United States subject areas. Multiple infographics will be released throughout the year to spotlight important and relevant health data from Health, United States.

The full Health, United States reports are available at:http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm


ANNUAL REPORT CARD ON THE NATION’S HEALTH SHOWS RACIAL AND ETHNIC HEALTH DISPARITIES PERSIST

April 27, 2016

hus15_cover_FINALThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has released “Health, United States, 2015”. This is the 39th annual report card on the nation’s health, along with a special feature on racial and ethnic health disparities.

The special feature was inspired by the landmark 1985 Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Black and Minority Health (Heckler Report), which documented significant health disparities among racial and ethnic groups.

Findings:

  • The difference between the highest (non-Hispanic black) and lowest (non-Hispanic Asian or Pacific Islander) infant mortality rates among the five racial and ethnic groups narrowed from 9.41 deaths per 1,000 live births in 1999 to 7.21 in 2013.
  • During 1999–2014 non-Hispanic black mothers experienced the highest percentage of low-risk cesarean deliveries (29.9 percent in 2014) among the five racial and ethnic groups while non-Hispanic American Indian or Alaska Native mothers experienced the lowest (21.5 percent in 2014).
  • Among Hispanic mothers during 1999-2014, Cuban mothers experienced the highest percentage of low-risk cesarean deliveries among the five Hispanic-origin groups (41.4 percent in 2014) while Mexican mothers experienced the lowest (24.1 percent in 2014).
  • In 2011–2014 for children and adolescents aged 2–19 years, Hispanic children and adolescents had the highest prevalence of obesity (21.9 percent) and non-Hispanic Asian children and adolescents had the lowest prevalence (8.6 percent).
  • The difference for women between the highest (non-Hispanic white) and lowest (non-Hispanic Asian) percentages of current cigarette smokers among racial and ethnic groups narrowed from 17.5 percentage points in 1999 to 13.2 in 2014 (percentages are age-adjusted).
  • The difference between the highest and lowest percentage of uninsured adults aged 18-64, narrowed from a difference of 24.9 percentage points in 1999 (Hispanic adults compared with non-Hispanic white adults) to a difference of 19.9 percentage points in the first six months of 2015 (Hispanic adults compared with non-Hispanic Asian adults).
  • In 2014 among adults aged 18-64, Hispanic adults had the highest percentage of those not receiving needed dental care in the past 12 months due to cost (15.7 percent) and non-Hispanic Asian adults had the lowest percentage (6.3 percent).

New Health, United States Spotlight Infographics

February 17, 2016

HUSSpotlight_Winter16_PostageHealth, United States Spotlights are infographics of selected health data available in Health, United States, the annual report on the health of the nation submitted by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and Congress.

Each Spotlight displays approximately four health indicators allowing users to visualize and interpret complex information from different data systems and Health, United States subject areas. Multiple infographics will be released throughout the year to spotlight important and relevant health data from Health, United States.

The full Health, United States reports are available at: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/hus.htm


Annual Report on the Nation’s Health Spotlights 55-64 Year Age Group

May 8, 2015

huscover2014This week, CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released Health, United States, 2014, the 38th annual report from the HHS Secretary to the President and Congress on the health of the nation.

This year’s report includes a special feature profiling the health of people 55-64 years old, the heart of the so-called “Baby Boomer” generation, who have longer life expectancy than in the past, but who are at growing risk of developing chronic conditions.  Most will be covered by Medicare within 10 years, which presents challenges to the country’s health care system.

SOME HIGHLIGHTS FROM THE SPECIAL FEATURE:

  • Among 55-64 year olds in 2009-2012, the prevalence of diabetes was close to 19%, the prevalence of obesity was about 40% and the prevalence of hypertension was just over 51%, unchanged from a decade earlier.
  • Mortality rates for all-cause death rates declined among 55-64 year olds between 2003 and 2013; cancer death rates were higher than heart disease death rates in this group throughout the decade.
  • In 2012–2013, just over 18% of adults aged 55–64 were current cigarette smokers, which is 8% lower than the percentage in 2002–2003 (19.7%). Those living below 100% of poverty were three times as likely to be current smokers as those at 400% or more of poverty (32.4% vs 11.2%).
  • Close to half of 55-64 year olds reported receiving an annual influenza vaccination in 2013, up from 40% in 2003, while use of pneumococcal vaccinations for high risk group members remained at similar levels (about one out of three).
  • In 2009–2012, nearly half (45%) of adults aged 55-64 took a prescription cardiovascular drug, nearly one-third (31.8%) took a cholesterol-lowering drug and 16% used prescription gastric reflux medications in the past month. Fifteen percent used a prescription analgesic, 12.9% used an anti-diabetic agent and 14.4% used a prescription antidepressant.

Health, United States, 2012

May 30, 2013

Health, United States:2012 CoverOn May 30, the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) published its annual report on the nation’s health.  Health, United States, 2012— which includes a Special Feature on Emergency Care—is the 36th report on the health status of the nation and is submitted each year by the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services to the President and the Congress of the United States in compliance with Section 308 of the Public Health Service Act.

Highlights of this year’s special section on emergency care include:

  • During 2001 through 2011, both children under age 18 and adults aged 18–64 with Medicaid coverage were more likely than uninsured Americans and those with private insurance coverage to have at least one emergency room visit in the past year.
  • In 2009–2010, cold symptoms were the most common reason for emergency room visits by children (27 percent), and injuries were the most common reason for visits by adults (14 percent.)
  • Between 2000 and 2010, 35 percent of emergency room visits included an x-ray, while the use of advanced imaging scans (CT or MRI) increased from 5 percent to 17 percent of visits.
  • In 2009–2010, 81 percent of emergency department visits were discharged for follow-up care as needed, 16 percent ended with the patient being admitted to the hospital, 2 percent ended with the patient leaving without completing the visit, and less than 1 percent ended in the patient’s death.
  • In 2009–2010, 59 percent of emergency department visits (excluding hospital admissions) included at least one drug prescribed at discharge.
  • During 2001-2011, the percentage of persons with at least one emergency department visit in the past year was stable at 20 percent to 22 percent, and the percentage of persons reporting two or more visits was stable at 7 percent to 8 percent.

 Other highlights from the report include:

  • Between 2010 and 2011, the percentage of adults aged 19-25 who were uninsured decreased from 34 percent to 28 percent.
  • Expenditures for hospital care accounted for 31 percent of all national health care expenditures in 2010. Physician and clinical services accounted for 20 percent of the total, followed by prescription drugs (10 percent), and nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities (6 percent).
  • In 2011, 48 percent of adults aged 18 and over did not meet the 2008 federal physical activity guidelines.