Technical Note: SHADAC’s Health Insurance Unit and Federal Poverty Guideline Microdata Variables
SHADAC released guidance, along with sample STATA and SAS code, for using the SHADAC Health Insurance Unit (HIU) and Federal Poverty Guideline (FPG) microdata variables to analyze health insurance coverage in the American Community Survey (ACS) and the Current Population Survey (CPS). These ACS and CPS variables are available through the Minnesota Population Center’sIntegrated Public Use Microdata Series (IPUMS). The example code provided in the brief will also allow analysts to replicate estimates available from the SHADAC Data Center.
Lynn Blewett Discusses Enrolling Vulnerable Populations in MNSURE
SHADAC Director Lynn Blewett participated in a panel discussion on November 13thabout the challenge of enrolling the low-income uninsured in harder-to-reach communities in Minnesota’s health insurance exchange. The discussion, which was sponsored by the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance’s Larry Jacobs at the University of Minnesota’s Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, also featured Minnesota State Representative Jim Abeler and State Senator Tony Lourey, and was moderated by Dave Hage of the Star Tribune. View Dr. Blewett’s handouts on characteristics of the uninsured in Minnesota.
Joanna Turner: Medicaid Undercount in the American Community Survey
SHADAC Senior Research Fellow Joanna Turner presented on November 4, 2013, at the annual research conference of the Federal Committee on Statistical Methodology, where she discussed findings from an analysis of the Medicaid undercount in the American Community Survey (ACS). The analysis was the result of a collaborative effort between SHADAC and the U.S. Census Bureau to extend previous Medicaid undercount research to the ACS by describing the concordance of Medicaid reporting in the ACS and enrollment data in administrative records from the Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS). The undercount in the ACS, at roughly 22.9 percent, appears in line with other federal surveys. More information can be found in a working paper co-authored by SHADAC and Census.
Gilbert Gonzales: Health Insurance Coverage Disparities among Same-Sex Couples and Their Children
SHADAC Research Assistant Gilbert Gonzales presented findings from his research on health insurance coverage disparities among same-sex couples and their children at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference on October 28, 2013, and at the American Public Health Association (APHA) Annual Meeting on November 4, 2013.
The AAP presentation examined disparities in health insurance for children with same-sex parents using data from the 2008-2010 American Community Survey (ACS) and found that these disparities diminish when such children live in states with legal same-sex marriage, civil unions, or second-parent adoption.
The APHA presentation examined disparities and trends in health insurance among same-sex couples using data from the 1997-2012 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Among key findings was that the number of adults in same-sex relationships who were covered by another person’s health plan increased over time.
Kathleen Call Wins Outstanding Adviser Award
Kathleen Call, SHADAC Investigator and Professor in the Division of Health Policy and Management, has received a 2013 Outstanding Adviser Award for excellent advising by University of Minnesota graduate and professional faculty. The award was created by the Graduate & Professional Student Association (GAPSA), in partnership with the Student Conflict Resolution Center, the Provost’s Office, and the Graduate School, in an effort to acknowledge faculty who have gone out of their way to provide a positive and productive learning environment for their students.
Gilbert Gonzales Wins SEED Award
SHADAC Research Assistant Gilbert Gonzales, a doctoral student in Health Services Research, Policy and Administration, has been selected to receive the University of Minnesota’s Scholarly Excellence in Equity and Diversity (SEED) award for his research examining whether same-sex marriage improves access to healthcare for gay and lesbian couples. Findings from Mr. Gonzales’s dissertation on this topic have beenprinted in Pediatrics and accepted for publication in the American Journal of Public Health.
SHADAC Research Assistant Kelsey Avery, a Master's student in Public Health Administration and Policy, has completed an internship in the Department of Legislative and Cabinet Affairs in the Office of Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton. Ms. Avery worked on a variety of health policy issues including implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
News from the States
Uninsured Minnesotans Seek Less Care
Minnesotans who lacked health insurance in 2011 were less likely to receive clinic and in-patient hospital care compared to the insured, according to a brief from the Health Economics Program at the Minnesota Department of Health. Using data from the Minnesota Health Care Access Survey, researchers found that "uninsured people in poor health were less likely to have seen a doctor over a six-month window (63.3 percent) than people in good health who had public coverage ... or were privately insured."
Coverage Levels Hold Steady: Results from the 2013 Colorado Health Access Survey
The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) released results from the 2013 Colorado Health Access Survey—the third biennial survey of more than 10,000 randomly selected Colorado households. Researchers found that the 14.3 percent of Coloradans without health insurance in 2013 (about 741,000 people), was not significantly different from earlier estimates of 15.8 % in 2011 and 13.5 % in 2009. CHI released 2013 survey materials including, among others, an in-depth report of findings, a public use file, and a data supplement.
American Community Survey: 3-Year Estimates Now Available
The U.S. Census Bureau released 2010-2012 3-year estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) available from the American FactFinder. The new estimates are based on data collected from January 1, 2010, to December 31, 2012, and are available for geographic areas with populations of 20,000 or more. Also available is the 2010-2012 ACS 3-Year Summary File, which consists of a set of comma-delimited text files that contain all of the detailed tables for the ACS 3-year estimates.
National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) 2013 Early Release Coverage Brief and Preliminary Microdata Now Available
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released an Issue Brief on health insurance coverage estimates from the January-March 2013 NHIS. Authors Robin Cohen and Michael Martinez report that in the first three months of 2013, the percentage of persons uninsured at the time of the interview was 14.8 percent (46.0 million) for persons of all ages; 17.1 percent (45.7 million) for persons under age 65; and 20.9 percent (40.5 million) for adults aged 18 to 64. No age group saw a significant change in insurance coverage between 2012 and the first quarter of 2013 on this measure.
Fact Sheet: Uninsurance among Low Income Older Adolescents
The National Alliance to Advance Adolescent Health released a fact sheet, “Many Low Income Older Adolescents Likely to Remain Uninsured in 2014,” examining the public and private health insurance protection that will likely be available for low income older adolescents. The fact sheet points out that of the 19- and 20-year-olds with family incomes at or below 100% of the federal poverty level (FPL), 37% are uninsured -- 2.5 times the uninsurance rate for the low income population ages 18 and younger. There will be no additional coverage for this group in the 22 states that have chosen not to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act. SHADAC provided special tabulations of data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) for this report.
Webinar: State Experiences with ACA Open Enrollment
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s Maximizing Enrollment and State Refor(u)m programs will host a webinar, “State Experiences with ACA Open Enrollment: Early Successes and Lessons,” on December 5, 2013, from 2:30 to 4:00 p.m. Eastern. Catherine Hess, Co-Director of Maximizing Enrollment, will moderate the event, which will feature state officials from Illinois, Washington, and South Carolina. Speakers will reflect on open enrollment in their respective states so far, highlighting successes and challenges to date, their experiences with outreach and messaging, and the performance of their operations and systems. Lessons learned are applicable to the roll out of the access expansions under the ACA.
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.