Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, 2017

May 22, 2018

Questions for Robin Cohen, Ph.D., Health Statistician and Lead Author on “Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, 2017

Q: What were some of the major findings in your full-year 2017 health insurance estimates?

RC: In 2017, 29.3 million persons were uninsured at the time of interview. This is 19.3 million fewer persons than in 2010. In 2017, 9.1% were uninsured, 36.2% had public coverage, and 62.6% had private coverage at the time of interview.


Q: What are the trends among race and ethnicity groups who were uninsured in 2017 and compared over time?

RC: In 2017, 27.2% of Hispanic, 14.1% of non-Hispanic black, 8.5% of non-Hispanic white, and 7.6% 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 from 2013 through 2017 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 from 2013 (40.6%) through 2016 (25.0%). The observed increase among Hispanic adults between 2016 and 2017 (27.2%) was not significant.


Q: What does your data show this year for Americans who have high-deductible health insurance plans compared to previous years?

RC: In 2017, 43.7% of persons under age 65 with private coverage were enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Enrollment in HDHPs has increased 18.4 percentage points from 25.3% in 2010 to 43.7% in 2017. More recently, the percentage enrolled in an HDHP increased from 39.4% in 2016 to 43.7% in 2017.


Q: What do you see in state-level estimates of health insurance coverage this year?

RC: Among the 18 states presented in this report, there were no significant changes in the percentages of uninsured among persons aged 18–64 between 2016 and 2017.


Q: What is the take home message in this report?

RC: The take-home message from this report is found in the number of Americans who no longer lack health insurance. In 2017, 29.3 million (9.1%) persons of all ages were uninsured at the time of interview. This estimate is not significantly different from 2016, but there are 19.3 million fewer uninsured persons than in 2010.

 

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QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Percentages of Adults Aged 18 Years or Older Who Are Current Regular Drinkers of Alcohol, by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin — National Health Interview Survey, 2016

March 19, 2018

In 2016, men aged 18 years or older were more likely than women to be current regular drinkers of alcohol (62.1% versus 47.2%).

Non-Hispanic white men (65.5%) were more likely to be current regular drinkers than Hispanic men (57.8%) and non-Hispanic black men (52.9%).

Non-Hispanic white women (55.6%) were more likely to be current regular drinkers than non-Hispanic black women (35.9%) and Hispanic women (31.5%).

Source: Tables of summary health statistics for US adults, National Health Interview Survey, 2016.

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6710a8.htm


Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January-September 2017 National Health Interview Survey

March 15, 2018

Questions for Jeannine Schiller M.P.H., Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January-September 2017 National Health Interview Survey

Q: What is new in this quarterly update that looks at 15 key health indicators for Americans?

JS: There is always something new in our quarterly estimates of 15 key health indicators for Americans. While results in this release were similar to those from last quarter, consistency of results is also an important finding. These new estimates, when analyzed with those from previous years, allow us to see where we are moving in public health measures and critical public health concerns today. This update provides the latest estimates (through January–September 2017) for this collection of key health indicators. The estimates for the first nine months of 2017 are provided by sex, age group, and race/ethnicity. Estimates represent the noninstitutionalized civilian population of the United States and allow monitoring of these indicators from 1997 to the most recent data available.


Q: What are the goals and benefits of producing a new update on all of these health behaviors every three months?

JS: The goals and benefits of producing these quarterly updates is to provide the most recent data available for timely monitoring of 15 key health indicators important to Americans’ health. Researchers and policy makers can then use this information to make critical decisions and take action sooner rather than later—to improve or maintain the health of our nation. The Early Release Program of the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) provides analytic reports and preliminary microdata files on an expedited schedule. Estimates are available just six months after the end of data collection. The public can have access to these timely reports and Early Release files without having to wait for the final, annual NHIS microdata files to be released in late June following the end of each data collection year. These early reports and data files are produced prior to final processing in order to provide early access to the most recent information from NHIS.


Q: Was there a result in your latest release of estimates that you hadn’t expected and that really surprised you?

JS: Most of the results for these indicators tend to be fairly consistent over time, so there was nothing unexpected in this latest analysis of 15 key health indicators. Of note, we did see continued increases in pneumococcal and influenza vaccination, obesity, physical activity (based on leisure-time activity), HIV testing, and diabetes—and decreases in current cigarette smoking. When examined over the course of the past couple of decades, some of these results are quite striking.


Q: What differences or similarities did you see among race and ethnic groups and various demographics in this analysis?

JS: We observed a number of variations among race and ethnic groups—and among women—in this quarter’s analysis of 15 health behaviors. Rates of pneumococcal vaccination, physical activity (based on leisure-time activity), and having at least 1 heavy drinking day in the past year, were all higher among non-Hispanic white persons compared to non-Hispanic black persons and Hispanic persons. Current cigarette smoking was lower among Hispanic persons compared to non-Hispanic black persons and non-Hispanic white persons. Among women, the prevalence of obesity was higher among non-Hispanic black persons compared to non-Hispanic white persons and Hispanic persons, while there was no significant difference in the prevalence of obesity by race and ethnicity groups among men.   


Q: What is the take-home message from this report?

JS: In some ways, this is a good news report, though it is also important to keep an eye on some negative trends. I think its take-home message is that there is overall good health of Americans now and in recent years, despite some health behaviors that could affect overall wellness of our population. About two-thirds of persons had excellent or very good health during the first nine months of 2017, and this rate has been stable in recent years.  While some health outcomes are going in the preferred direction (smoking, selected vaccinations, physical activity during leisure time, HIV testing), others, such as obesity and diabetes, continue to move in an undesirable direction.


QuickStats: Percentage of Children Aged 1–5 Years Who Had Never Been to a Dentist, by Age and Year — National Health Interview Survey, United States, 2006–2016

March 5, 2018

During 2006–2016, the percentage of children aged 1–5 years who had never seen a dentist decreased as age increased.

In 2016, 80.2% of children aged 1 year, 49.7% of children aged 2 years, 28.6% of children aged 3 years, 18.3% of children aged 4 years, and 6.8% of children aged 5 years had never seen a dentist.

For all ages, the percentage of children who had never seen a dentist declined from 2006 to 2016.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2006–2016

https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6708a8.htm


Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–September 2017

February 22, 2018

A new NCHS report provides updated health insurance estimates from selected states using 2017 National Health Interview Survey data.

  • In the first 9 months of 2017, 28.9 million (9.0%) persons of all ages were uninsured at the time of interview—not significantly different from 2016, but 19.7 million fewer persons than in 2010.
  • In the first 9 months of 2017, among adults aged 18–64, 12.7% were uninsured at the time of interview, 19.5% had public coverage, and 69.3% had private health insurance coverage.
  • In the first 9 months of 2017, among children aged 0–17 years, 4.9% were uninsured, 41.9% had public coverage, and 54.6% had private health insurance coverage.
  • Among adults aged 18–64, 69.3% (136.5 million) were covered by private health insurance plans at the time of interview in the first 9 months of 2017. This includes 4.4% (8.6 million) covered by private health insurance plans obtained through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges.
  • The percentage of persons under age 65 with private health insurance enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) increased, from 39.4% in 2016 to 43.2% in the first 9 months of 2017.

Parental Report of Significant Head Injuries in Children Aged 3–17 Years: United States, 2016

February 9, 2018

Questions for Lindsey Black, Health Statistician and Lead Author of “Parental Report of Significant Head Injuries in Children Aged 3–17 Years: United States, 2016.”

Q: What was the reason you undertook this research?

LB: Previous research has indicated that the incidence is increasing and much of this trend is being driven by an increase among adolescents. Current incidence of concussions among children is estimated to be 3.5-16.5/1,000. Despite what is known, studies conducted thus far regarding the epidemiology of childhood concussions have either been regional and limited in size, focused on injuries related to sports, dependent on insurance claims, or based on emergency department visits.

There is a lack of a national prevalence and we need to understand the problem outside of the scope of sports injuries. Depending on ED visits are also problematic because evidence is emerging that there is an increasing trend in the use of primary care physicians and specialty clinics as the point of entry into the healthcare system for concussion diagnosis and treatment. Also relying on ED or medical claims will not include non-medically attended concussions.

Further, much research focuses on high school and collegiate athletes and therefore there is not much data on younger children. Despite this, there has been recent recognition for concern and appropriate treatment by the medical community. The goal of this study was to provide a national estimate of parent-reported significant head injuries as well as examine disparities by various demographics and socioeconomic indicators.


Q: What did you find most significant?

LB: There was a steady increase in the percentage of children that had ever had a significant head injury by age group. Although overall boys were more likely than boys to have ever had a significant head injury, the difference was only significant for the 15-17 age group.


Q: Are there any data that look at what sports might be contributing to the number of significant head injuries among children?

LB: Yes, in fact there are many studies that focus on sport related injuries. Our survey and study did not. What sets our study apart is that it was not limited to sports related injuries, so it is going to include a wider range of causes of injuries. Please see “Emergency Department Visits for Concussion in Young Child Athletes” (Bakhos, 2010) and “Epidemiology of Concussion and Mild Traumatic Brain Injury” (Laker 2011) to learn more.


Q: Do you have any insight about whether this percentage who’ve had significant head injuries has increased or declined over time?

LB: Unfortunately we do not have any other historical data on this topic from our survey. At this time, these questions were asked only in 2016 as part of content sponsored by the National Instutite of Health’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.


Q: Any other points you’d like to make about this study?

LB: We found that about 1 in 10 children in the oldest age group 15-17 had ever had a significant head injury. We also found that overall, boys were more likely than girls to have ever had a significant head injury and there were also disparities by race and parental educational attainment.


QuickStats: Age-Adjusted Percentages of Current Smokers Among Adults Aged 18 Years or Older, by Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin — National Health Interview Survey, 2016

January 16, 2018

In 2016, men aged 18 years or older were more likely to be current smokers than women (17.5% compared with 13.6%).

Non-Hispanic black men (20.1%) and non-Hispanic white men (18.4%) were more likely to be current smokers than Hispanic men (13.8%).

Non-Hispanic white women (16.2%) were more likely to be current smokers than non-Hispanic black women (13.2%) and Hispanic women (6.9%).

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/67/wr/mm6701a10.htm