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About NCHS

NCHS Fact Sheet

July 2014

 

NCHS Health Insurance Data

 

PDF Version (198 KB)

 

About NCHS

The CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) is the nation’s principal health statistics agency, providing data to identify and address health issues. NCHS compiles statistical information to help guide public health and health policy decisions.

Collaborating with other public and private health partners, NCHS employs a variety of data collection mechanisms to obtain accurate information from multiple sources. This process provides a broad perspective to help us understand the population’s health, influences on health, and health outcomes.

 

Health Insurance

Health insurance coverage is an important determinant of access to health care and health status. Uninsured children and non-elderly adults are substantially less likely to have a usual source of health care or a recent health care visit than their insured counterparts. The major source of coverage for persons under 65 years of age is private employer-sponsored group health insurance. Private health insurance may also be purchased on an individual basis. Beginning in 2014, private health insurance plans may also be purchased through the Health Insurance Marketplace or state-based exchanges that were established as part of the Affordable Care Act. Public programs such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program provide coverage for many low-income children and adults.

The development of policies and programs to improve health insurance coverage requires timely and accurate information on the number of persons who lack health insurance coverage and the number of persons with different types of coverage.

 

Health Insurance Data

NCHS’ National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) collects comprehensive data on health insurance coverage. Three measures of lack of health insurance coverage are provided on a quarterly basis: uninsured at the time of the interview, uninsured at least part of the year prior to the interview, and uninsured for more than a year at the time of interview. Data are also provided on public and private coverage for those currently insured, including information on enrollment in consumer directed health plans. In 2013, the NHIS reported state-level estimates of being uninsured at the time of interview, having public coverage, and having private health insurance coverage among 43 states.

 

NHIS findings in 2013:

  • A total of 44.8 million persons (14.4 percent) of all ages were uninsured at the time of the interview, 55.4 million (17.8 percent) had been uninsured for at least part of the year prior to the interview, and 33.4 million (10.7 percent) had been uninsured for more than a year at the time of the interview.
  • The percentage of uninsured persons at the time of interview was 20.4 percent for persons aged 18-64 years and 6.5 percent for children under age 18.

 

Figure 1 is a bar chart that shows health insurance coverage status among persons under 65 years of age in the United States in 2013.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2013

 

NHIS data on health insurance coverage for children under 18 years of age show:

  • The percent of near poor children without health insurance at the time of interview decreased from 22.8 percent in 1997 to 10.6 percent in 2013.
  • The percent of poor children without health insurance at the time of interview decreased from 22.4 percent in 1997 to 7.8 percent in 2013.

 

Figure 2 is a line graph that shows the percent of children under age 18 who were uninsured at the time of the interview by poverty status in the United States from 1997-2013.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 1997-2013

 

NHIS data on high deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollment for persons under age 65 show:

  • The percent with employment-based private health insurance who were enrolled in HDHPs increased from 17.1 percent in 2008 to 32.0 percent in 2013.
  • The percent covered by directly purchased private health insurance who were enrolled in HDHPs increased from 44.7 percent in 2008 to 56.4 percent in 2013.

 

Figure 3 is a bar chart that shows the percent of persons under age 65 with private health insurance who are enrolled in a high deductible health plan, by source of coverage in the United States from 2008 to 2013.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 2008-2013

 

Of special interest because of the Affordable Care Act, the NHIS provides estimates for health insurance coverage for adults aged 19-25. NHIS data from 2013 show:

  • The percent of adults aged 19-25 who were uninsured at the time of interview decreased from 33.9 percent (10 million) in 2010 to 26.5 percent (8.0 million) in 2013.
  • The percent of adults aged 19-25 who were uninsured for at least part of the past year in 2013 was 31.3 percent.
  • The percent of adults aged 19-25 covered by a private health insurance plan in 2013 increased to 58.1 percent from 51.0 percent in 2010.

 

Figure 4 is a line graph that shows the percent of adults 19-25 with health insurance, by coverage, type and percent uninsured at the time of the interview in the United States from 1997-2013.

Source: National Health Interview Survey, 1997-2013

 

Health Insurance Data Source

  • National Health Interview Survey – collects information on the nation’s health through personal household interviews that measure: health status and disability, selected conditions, insurance coverage, access to care, use of health services, immunizations, health behaviors, injury, and the ability to perform daily activities.  (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis.htm)

 

For further information about NCHS and its programs, visit us at http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/.

 

 
Contact Us:
  • National Center for Health Statistics
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    Room 5419
    Hyattsville, MD 20782
  • 1 (800) 232-4636
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