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Technical Notes: Data and Methods ASPE Health Insurance Coverage Fact Sheet, September 2015

Publication Date
Sep 21, 2015

Survey Data:

  1.  Estimate of impact of dependent coverage provision, measuring the change in young adult insurance coverage, 2010-2013

We generally prefer to use the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for our health insurance coverage estimates because it is a large national survey with robust sampling methods.  In March 2015, we were able to use NHIS data through the third quarter of 2013 to update our estimate of the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) dependent coverage provision, which allowed young adults aged 19-25 to stay on their parent’s health insurance policy starting in September 2010.  


  1.  Estimate of change in health insurance coverage for 18-64 population, Q3 2013-Q3 2015

To estimate the impact of the ACA health insurance coverage expansion through the Health Insurance Marketplaces and Medicaid, we cannot use the NHIS because data for the third quarter of 2015 is not yet available.  Therefore, we use the most recent data available on health insurance coverage from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index Survey, which are collected daily and become available soon after data collection. The data in this brief reflect interviews through September 12, 2015.  Analyses to date suggest the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey’s national uninsured estimates track the NHIS national estimates quite closely (see   (There is a review of a number of nonfederal surveys from the Urban Institute at:


Therefore, for the purpose of near real-time national health insurance coverage tracking, Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index survey offers a timely interim solution between NHIS reporting periods.