Blog & News
NHIS: 10 States Saw Drop in Uninsured from January-June 2014March 05, 2015:
December 19, 2014
From the desk of
SHADAC Director Lynn Blewett
The National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) recently released early estimates of health insurance coverage from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for January-June 2014. These estimates provide a look at the early impact the ACA has had on health insurance coverage during the first year of its access provisions. We present findings for select states here.
A Little Background
The NHIS has been one of the premiere federal health surveys for monitoring the health of the US population for over 50 years. NCHS’s robust Early Release Program for the NHIS provides early national and state estimates of key indicators and preliminary microdata files. The recently released data represent estimates based on surveys of 56,784 persons conducted between January–June 2014.
Why State-Level Estimates Matter
As many of you know, I have been advocating for robust state-level estimates from the NHIS for many years. While I have been pleased with the progress that NCHS has made in adding more states to its full-year data release series (which currently includes 42 states and the District of Columbia), I have also been frustrated that the NHIS has lacked funding to support a state-representative survey with adequate sample to provide robust state-level estimates for all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
State-level estimates are critical for monitoring and evaluating the implementation of health reform efforts. The NHIS January-June 2014 Early Release Program provides estimates for just 13 states. In the accompanying one-pager, we present the most recent state-level data and compare it to the January-June 2013 data (analysis is limited to states included in both years – 11 states in total).
The Early Results
Between 2013 and 2014, there was a decrease in uninsurance for people of all ages in 10 states, with a slight increase in New York. It’s important to note that the change in uninsurance rates was statistically significant for only three of the states (California, Ohio and Pennsylvania). The early release estimates are preliminary; final estimates will be available this fall and we expect some of the estimates to change.
We encourage all of the federal agencies to develop efforts similar to the NCHS’s Early Release Program, and to provide timely estimates to monitor, evaluate and improve the health and health care of the US.
Integrated Health Interview Series
Quick and easy access to NHIS data across years and indicators
SHADAC Data Center
Includes interactive NHIS data for state estimates of coverage indicators
ACA Questions in the NHIS
SHADAC brief outlining new questions added to the NHIS
Comparing Federal Surveys
SHADAC brief outlining questions, sample size by state for federal surveys that estimate the uninsured, including the NHIS