Summary of the Survey Results from the National Health Insurance Survey
By the Centers for Disease Control
From 1997 to 2010, the nation’s uninsured rates increased. From 2010 to the first quarter of 2015, the nation’s uninsurance rates fell from 22.3% to 13.0%. The percentage rates of uninsured children fell from 13.9% in 1997 to 4.6% in 2015 due to CHIP and then the ACA. The uninsured rates for adults declined from 22.3% in 2010 to 13.0% in 2015 due to the ACA. Most of the declines for adults happened in only 15 months.
Both private and public coverage are increasing. The declines in percentages uninsured were steepest for young adults, who had a 34% uninsured rate in 2010 and 16.6% uninsured rate in 2015 due to the combination of the parental coverage option, the Medicaid expansion and the refundable tax credits in the Exchanges.
The uninsured rates fell for all age groups and all ethnicities. For Hispanics the uninsured rate fell to 18.3%, for Blacks to 15.6%, for Whites to 8.7%, and for Asians to 7.2%.
Private health insurance grew overall, both through employers and through the ACA’s Exchanges, which now cover 4.6% of all adults – phenomenal growth in 15 months.
In the 31 states, which adopted the Medicaid expansion, adult uninsured rates fell from 20.1% to 10.6% (roughly 50%); both private and public coverage grew in those states.
In the 20 states, that have so far rejected the Medicaid expansion, uninsured rates fell from 24.8% to 16.8% (roughly a third). Private coverage increased while public coverage was flat.
Uninsured rates fell a bit more in states that operated their own Exchanges, as opposed to those with federally administered Exchanges or state/federal Partnership Exchanges.
Uninsured rates fell by 35% among the poor (below the federal poverty level), by 42% among the near poor (100-200% of the poverty level, and by 38% among the non-poor (above 200% of FPL).
Increasing percentages (36%) of Americans are enrolled in high deductible health plans with or without an accompanying HSA (Health Spending Account) or FSA (Flexible Spending Account). The growth has been highest in employment-based coverage (about 1/3rd now enrolled); however nearly half of all individuals with individual coverage are in high deductible plans.
Uninsured rates were lowest in the New England Region (5.1%), highest in the West South Central (17.8%) Region, and below average in the Pacific Region (9.1%).
How does California stack up with the other states? We are now at 8.1% of all Californians uninsured, 9.1% of all Californians under the age of 65, and 3.6% of all California children uninsured. On all measures we are now substantially below the national average although we began substantially above. Our decline in the percentages of uninsured is only exceeded by West Virginia, Nevada and Kentucky.
Prepared by: Lucien Wulsin