Health Insurance Coverage: Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-March 2017

August 29, 2017

Questions for Robin Cohen, Ph.D., Health Statistician and Lead Author on “Health Insurance Coverage: Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-March 2017

Q: What do you think is the most interesting demographic finding among your new study’s short-term trends – age, poverty status, or race and ethnicity?

RC:  There are many interesting short-term trends presented in this report, though I would like to highlight the three that I find most interesting. Among poor adults aged 18 to 64, the percentage who were uninsured decreased from 42.2% in 2010 to 22.6% in the first 3 months of 2017. A similar decrease in the percentage of uninsured was seen for near poor adults aged 18 to 64, from 43.0% in 2010 to 23.0% in the first 3 months of 2017. Hispanic adults aged 18 to 64 had the greatest percentage point decrease in the uninsured rate from 2013 (40.6%) through the first 3 months of 2017 (24.1%).


Q: What is the most compelling long-term trend in your new health insurance report?

RC: It is quite striking and encouraging to see long-term improvements in health insurance coverage for children in the United States. The percentage of children who were uninsured generally decreased from 13.9% in 1997 to 5.3% in the first 3 months of 2017. The observed increase in the percentage of uninsured children from 4.5% in 2015 to 5.3% in the first 3 months of 2017 was not statistically significant. From 1997 to 2012, the percentage of children with private coverage has generally decreased, and the percentage of children with public coverage has generally increased. However, more recently, the percentage of children with public or private coverage has leveled off.


Q: Why aren’t state estimates presented?

RC: State level estimates of insurance coverage are not presented in the Early Release report based on the first 3 months of data from the National Health Interview Survey due to considerations of sample size and precision. However, state level estimates are included in the Health Insurance Early Release report three times a year, with the report based on 6 months of data, 9 months of data and a full year of data.


Q: It looks as though coverage through high-deductible private health insurance plans continues to rise in 2017; what patterns do your estimates show this year compared to previous years? 

RC: In the first 3 months of 2017, 42.3% of persons under age 65 with private health insurance coverage were enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), an increase from 39.4% in 2016. The percentage of persons enrolled in an HDHP increased 17 percentage points from 25.3% in 2010 to 42.3% in the first 3 months of 2017.


 

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

RC: I think the real take-home message from this report is the long-term trend of remarkable improvement in the number of uninsured Americans. In the first 3 months of 2017, 28.1 (8.8%) million persons of all ages were uninsured at the time of interview —20.5 million fewer persons than in 2010 (16.0%). However, there was no significant change from the 2016 uninsured rate of 9.0% (28.6 million).

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Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, 2014

June 23, 2015

NCHS has released selected estimates of health insurance coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population based on data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), along with comparable estimates from the 2009–2013 NHIS. Estimates for 2014 are based on data for 111,682 persons.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In 2014, 36.0 million persons of all ages (11.5%) were uninsured at the time of interview, 51.6 million (16.5%) had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to interview, and 26.3 million (8.4%) had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview.
  • Among persons under age 65, 63.6% (170.4 million) were covered by private health insurance plans at the time of interview. This includes 2.2% (5.9 million) covered by private plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges at the time of interview between January and December 2014. The proportion with exchange coverage increased from 1.4% (3.7 million) in the first quarter of 2014 (January–March) to 2.5% (6.7 million) in the fourth quarter of 2014 (October–December).
  • Among adults aged 18–64, the percentage who were uninsured at the time of interview decreased from 20.4% in 2013 to 16.3% in 2014.
  • Among adults aged 19–25, the percentage who were uninsured at the time of interview decreased from 26.5% in 2013 to 20.0% in 2014.
  • In 2014, the percentage of persons under age 65 who were uninsured at the time of interview varied by state. For example, 2.5% were uninsured in Hawaii, whereas 21.5% were uninsured in Oklahoma and Texas.

 


Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–September 2014

March 24, 2015

NCHS has released selected estimates of health insurance coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population based on data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey, along with comparable estimates from the 2009–2013 NHIS. Estimates for January–September 2014 are based on data for 85,224 persons.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In the first 9 months of 2014, 37.2 million persons of all ages (11.9%) were uninsured at the time of interview, 53.5 million (17.1%) had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to interview, and 27.2 million (8.7%) had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview.
  • Among persons under age 65, 63.2% (169.5 million) were covered by private health insurance plans at the time of interview. This includes 2.1% (5.6 million) covered by private plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges at the time of interview between January and September 2014. The proportion with exchange coverage increased from 1.4% (3.7 million) in the first quarter of 2014 (January–March) to 2.5% (6.8 million) in the third quarter of 2014 (July–September).
  • Among adults aged 18–64, the percentage who were uninsured at the time of interview decreased from 20.4% in 2013 to 16.7% in the first 9 months of 2014.
  • Among adults aged 19–25, the percentage who were uninsured at the time of interview decreased from 26.5% in 2013 to 20.4% in the first 9 months of 2014.
  • In the first 9 months of 2014, the percentage of persons under age 65 who were uninsured at the time of interview varied by state. For example, 9.1% were uninsured in Pennsylvania, whereas 22.2% were uninsured in Texas.

Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Estimates From the National Health Interview Survey, January–June 2014

December 16, 2014

NCHS has released selected estimates of health insurance coverage for the civilian noninstitutionalized U.S. population based on data from the 2014 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), along with comparable estimates from the 2009–2013 NHIS. Estimates for January–June 2014 are based on data for 56,784 persons.

Three estimates of lack of health insurance coverage are provided: (a) uninsured at the time of interview, (b) uninsured at least part of the year prior to interview (which includes persons uninsured for more than a year), and (c) uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • In the first 6 months of 2014, 38.0 million persons of all ages (12.2%) were uninsured at the time of interview, 54.0 million (17.3%) had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to interview, and 27.3 million (8.7%) had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview.
  • Among persons under age 65, 62.8% (168.3 million) were covered by private health insurance plans at the time of interview. This includes 1.9% (5.0 million) covered by private plans through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges at the time of interview between January and June 2014. The proportion with exchange coverage increased from 1.4% (3.7 million) in the first quarter of 2014 (January–March) to 2.4% (6.3 million) in the second quarter of 2014 (April–June).
  • Among adults aged 18–64, the percentage who were uninsured at the time of interview decreased from 20.4% in 2013 to 17.0% in the first 6 months of 2014.
  • Among adults aged 19–25, the percentage who were uninsured at the time of interview decreased from 26.5% in 2013 to 20.1% in the first 6 months of 2014.
  • In the first 6 months of 2014, the percentage of persons under age 65 who were uninsured at the time of interview varied by state. For example, 8.0% were uninsured in Pennsylvania, whereas 23.0% were uninsured in Texas.

Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the 2013 National Health Interview Survey

June 19, 2014

A new report from NCHS updates estimates for 15 selected health measures based on data from the 2013 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and presents estimates from 1997 through 2012 for comparison. The 15 Early Release measures are being published prior to final data editing and final weighting to provide access to the most recent information from NHIS. The estimates will be updated as each new quarter of NHIS data becomes available.

 The 15 measures included in the report are lack of health insurance coverage and type of coverage, having a usual place to go for medical care, obtaining needed medical care, receipt of influenza vaccination, receipt of pneumococcal vaccination, obesity, leisure-time physical activity, current cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) testing, general health status, personal care needs, serious psychological distress, diagnosed diabetes, and asthma episodes and current asthma.

Please click on the link below to view the results by health measure:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/released201406.htm


Marriage, Cohabitation, and Men’s Use of Preventive Health Care Services

June 16, 2014

In honor of National Men’s Health Week and Father’s Day, NCHS has released a new report that looks at preventive health care service use among groups of men aged 18-64: married men, cohabitating men and other not-married men.  The consistency of observed differences by age and health insurance coverage status were also investigated.

Previous research has demonstrated that married men are more likely than not-married men to seek preventive health care services because their spouses encourage them to do so. It was not known, however, whether cohabiting partners of not-married men play a health-promoting role similar to that of spouses.

There is also a Father’s Day connection since two of the authors of the report are related.  Joe Blumberg is Stephen Blumberg’s father and they came up with the idea for this research project while discussing men’s health after family dinners in the winter.  The report was further refined with the assistance of Dr. Anjel Vahratian.

Key Findings from the Report:

  • Among men aged 18–64, those who were married were more likely than cohabiting men and other not-married men to have had a health care visit in the past 12 months.
  • Marriage was associated with greater likelihood of a health care visit for both younger and older men, and for men with health insurance.
  • Among those for whom blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetes screenings are recommended by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, married men were more likely than cohabiting men to have received these clinical preventive services in the past 12 months.
  • Cohabiting men were less likely than other not-married men to have had a health care visit, cholesterol check, or diabetes screening.