Survey Data on Health Insurance Coverage for 2013 and 2014. Conclusion: Looking AHEAD to the Present

10/31/2014

Gallup-Healthways WBI health insurance survey data provide the most up-to-date data on insurance coverage so far in 2014. An analysis of these data published by the New England Journal of Medicine shows that 10.3 million adults had gained coverage through June 2014.27

The new NHIS quarterly data for January through March 2014 represent the first federal survey data for any part of the current year. The data corroborate earlier findings from administrative data and from nongovernmental household surveys suggesting substantial reductions in the uninsured, substantial increases in Medicaid and CHIP coverage, and substantial enrollment in private insurance through the Marketplace.28 The NHIS data demonstrate that in the first few months of the year, the Affordable Care Act was already achieving its intended outcome. The new CPS-ASEC and ACS data offer a baseline view of health insurance coverage in 2013, the last year before implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s coverage expansion.

Yet even the new NHIS data are only for the first few months of 2014—and represent averages over that period, rather than coverage as of March 31. For this reason, these new health insurance data likely understate the changes in coverage that have occurred at the end of the first quarter of 2014. Marketplace and Medicaid/CHIP enrollment data, and data from nongovernmental surveys, suggest that the next round of NHIS data for April-June 2014 will show even larger gains.

With Medicaid and CHIP continuing to grow each month, and open enrollment for the Marketplace beginning again on November 15, 2014 (https://www.healthcare.gov/), it seems likely that future data will show that the Affordable Care Act is continuing to provide health insurance coverage to a large and growing group of Americans.


27 Benjamin D. Sommers, Thomas Musco, Kenneth Finegold, Munira Z. Gunja, Amy Burke, and Audrey McDowell, “Health Reform and Changes in Health Insurance Coverage in 2014,” New England Journal of Medicine, July 23, 2014 (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr1406753, accessed October 27, 2014).
28 Health Insurance Marketplace: Summary Enrollment Report for the Initial Annual Open Enrollment Period, ASPE Issue Brief, May 1, 2014 (http://aspe.hhs.gov/health/reports/2014/MarketPlaceEnrollment/Apr2014/ib..., accessed October 27, 2014); Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, Center for Medicaid & CHIP Services, Medicaid & CHIP: August 2014 Monthly Applications, Eligibility Determinations and Enrollment Report, October 17, 2014 (http://www.medicaid.gov/AffordableCareAct/Medicaid-Moving-Forward-2014/D..., accessed October 27, 2014); Benjamin D. Sommers, Thomas Musco, Kenneth Finegold, Munira Z. Gunja, Amy Burke, and Audrey McDowell, “Health Reform and Changes in Health Insurance Coverage in 2014,” New England Journal of Medicine, July 23, 2014 (http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMsr1406753, accessed October 27, 2014); Sharon K. Long, Genevieve M. Kenney, Stephen Zuckerman, Douglas Wissoker, Adele Shartzer, Michael Karpman, Nathaniel Anderson, and Katherine Hempstead, Taking Stock at Mid-Year: Health Insurance Coverage under the ACA as of June 2014, Urban Institute, July 29, 2014 (http://hrms.urban.org/briefs/taking-stock-at-mid-year.pdf, accessed October 27, 2014); Katherine Grace Carman and Christine Eibner, Changes in Health Insurance Enrollment Since 2013: Evidence from the RAND Health Reform Opinion Study, RAND Research Report RR-656-RC, April 2014 (http://www.rand.org/content/dam/rand/pubs/research_reports/RR600/RR656/R..., accessed October 27, 2014); Sara R. Collins, Petra W. Rasmussen, and Michelle M. Doty, Gaining Ground: Americans’ Health Insurance Coverage and Access to Care After the Affordable Care Act’s First Open Enrollment Period, Commonwealth Fund, July 2014 (http://www.commonwealthfund.org/~/media/files/publications/issue-brief/2..., accessed October 27, 2014); Liz Hamel, Mira Rao, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton, Cynthia Cox, Karen Pollitz, and Mollyann Brodie, Survey of Non-Group Health Insurance Enrollees, Kaiser Family Foundation, June 19, 2014 (http://kff.org/health-reform/report/survey-of-non-group-health-insurance..., accessed October 27, 2014); Bianca DiJulio, Jamie Firth, Larry Levitt, Gary Claxton, Rachel Garfield, and Mollyann Brodie, Where are California's Uninsured Now? Wave 2 of the Kaiser Family Foundation California Longitudinal Panel Survey, Kaiser Family Foundation, July 30, 2014 (http://kff.org/uninsured/report/where-are-californias-uninsured-now-wave..., accessed October 27, 2014).

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