Blog & News
NHIS: Coverage and Uninsurance Rates Mostly Stable in January-September 2016March 06, 2017:
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released health insurance coverage estimates for January through September 20161 from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) as part of the NHIS Early Release Program.
In the Nation
With only a few exceptions coverage and uninsurance rates remained stable between the first three quarters of 2015 and the first three quarters of 2016.
Coverage by Type
Adults (18-64 years)
The new estimates show that among adults aged 18 to 64, only the rate of public coverage changed significantly, increasing 1.7 percentage points. Uninsurance and private coverage were statistically stable. Among this group, in the first three quarters of 2016:
- 12.3% were uninsured at the time of interview
- 20.3% had public coverage (vs. 18.6% in January-September 2015)
- 69.0% had private coverage
Children (0-17 years)
The rates of coverage for children (0-17 years) by type of coverage were statistically unchanged from the first three quarters of 2015. Among this group in January through September of 2016:
- 5.0% were uninsured at the time of interview
- 43.4% had public coverage
- 53.5% had private coverage
Adults (18-64 years)
Not only did uninsurance hold steady from the first three quarters of 2015 and the first three quarters of 2016 among non-elderly adults taken as a whole, but the distribution of uninsurance among subgroups remained stable:
- Adults aged 25 to 34 years continued to be the most likely to be uninsured, with nearly twice the uninsured rate of 45-64 year olds (16.4% vs. 8.6%).
- Adults aged 18 to 24 and adults aged 35 to 44 once again had similar rates of uninsurance, at 13.6 and 14.7, respectively.
Children (0-17 years)
Uninsurace among children was stable overall between January through September 2015 and January through September 2016; however, a breakdown by poverty status and coverage type shows that the percentage of poor children (<100% FPL) with private health insurance coverage decreased significantly, from 9.6 to 7.1 percent.
The only racial/ethnic group that saw a statistically significant change from January through September 2015 to January through September 2016 was Hispanics/Latinos, among whom uninsurance dropped 2.1 percentage points (from 21% to 18.9%).
Enrollment in High-Deductible Health Plans
Among persons under the age 65 with private health insurance, the percentage who were enrolled in a high deductible health plan (HDHP) increased in 2016. Among this age group:
- 39.1 percent were enrolled in an HDHP (vs. 36.2% in January-September 2015)
- 15.2 percent were enrolled in HDHPs that incorporated health savings accounts (vs. 13.2% in January-September 2015)
In the States
NHIS estimates of the uninsured are available for 38 individual states with sufficient sample size for the first three quarters of the 2016 calendar year. Among states with estimates available for the first three quarters of both 2015 and 2016, the only one that saw a significant change in uninsurance was California, with a decrease of 4.5 percentage points.
State Medicaid Expansion Status
In both Medicaid expansion states and non-expansion states, rates of public coverage increased significantly among non-elderly adults (18 to 64) from the first three quarters of 2015 to the first three quarters 2016. Uninsurance rates and rates of private coverage held stable in both expansion and non-expansion states.
Among adults ages 18 to 64 living in expansion states:
- 9.3 percent were uninsured at the time of interview
- 69.6 percent had private coverage
- 22.8 percent had public coverage (up from 21.3 % in the first three quarters of 2015)
Among adults ages 18 to 64 living in states that did not expand Medicaid:
- 17.5 percent were uninsured at the time of interview
- 68.1 percent had private coverage
- 16.0 percent had public coverage (up from 14.6% in January through September 2015)
Non-elderly adults in expansion states continued to be less likely to be uninsured than non-elderly adults in non-expansion states in the first three quarters of 2016, with uninsurance in expansion states at 9.3% and uninsurance in non-expansion states at 17.5%.
View the NCHS Early Release Report, "Health Insurance Coverage: Early Release of Esimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-September 2016."
About the NHIS Early Release Program
The new NHIS estimates were published as part of the NHIS Early Release Program, through which analytic reports and preliminary microdata files are made available on an expedited schedule so that data users have access to the most recent NHIS information without having to wait for the final annual NHIS microdata files to be released after the end of each data collection year. The early release reports and files are produced prior to final data editing and weighting.
1SHADAC's analysis differes slightly from the NCHS report because SHADAC'compares estimates from the first three quarters of 2015 with estimates from the first three quarters of 2016, while the NCHS compares the estimates for all of 2015 with estimates from the first three quarters of 2016.