2015 Health Insurance Coverage Estimates from NHIS & CPS
September 29, 2015:
For the first time 2015 national level uninsurance estimates are available from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS).
National Health Interview Survey
According to the NHIS, 9.2 percent of people of all ages nationwide lacked health insurance in the first quarter of 2015 (January-March). This is a 3.9 percentage-point decrease in uninsurance from 13.1 percent for the same period in 2014. The 2014-2015 decrease is larger than the 2013-2014 decrease of 1.7 percentage points (from 14.8% to 13.1%).
Although both the 2014 and 2015 estimates measure coverage after the Affordable Care Act (ACA), interviews for the 2014 estimate were conducted when the first open enrollment period was still underway and when the Medicaid expansion had only been in place for a few months. In contrast, by the time the 2015 interviews were finished, two open enrollment periods had taken place, and the Medicaid expansion had been established for over a year.
Similar to the NHIS, the CPS shows a 3.0 percentage-point decrease (from 13.6% to 10.6%) in the point-in-time uninsured rate from 2014 (February-April 2014) to 2015 (February-April 2015). Because the CPS first measured point-in-time coverage in 2014, there are no historical year-over-year changes to which we can compare the 2014-2015 change.
State-Level 2015 CPS Coverage Estimates Available Soon
The great news is that at this relatively early date we can use the CPS micro-data to create state-level 2015 coverage estimates. SHADAC will be posting these estimates on its website at www.shadac.org in early October.
The State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) is a program of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and a part of the Health Policy and Management Division of the School of Public Health at the University of Minnesota.