New estimates of uninsured to be released 9/13/16

Posted by Timothy McBride on Tuesday, September 13, 2016 Under: ACA
Another milestone in the release of federal data will come Tuesday, 9/13/16 and Thursday 9/15/16 when the U.S. Census Bureau releases results from two surveys that are widely used to estimate the number of people in the U.S. with and without health insurance.

The Bureau will release estimates from the Current Population Survey and the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS/ASEC) and the American Community Survey (ACS).  The former survey provides national estimates of insurance coverage with breakdowns by demographics, income and other characteristics, while the latter survey (ACS) provides breakdowns by state.

This is an important milestone for measuring the impact of the Affordable Care (ACA) since this survey provides one of the only national snapshots of insurance coverage for calendar year 2015, the second year of implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), or "Obamacare".  Some provisions went into effect before 2014, and the provisions are still being implemented.

There have been other surveys released, such as from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and nongovernmental surveys that have shown very significant drops in the number of uninsured and percentage of persons who are uninsured (such as estimates released by the Urban Institute and Gallup). 

However, for years the CPS has been used as a quasi-official source for estimates of the uninsured in the U.S., and in latter years the ACS.  Prior to the implementation of the ACA, estimates form these surveys concluded that about 45-50 million people were uninsured (in 2012 and earlier) and in 2013 an estimated 42 million uninsured.

It is worth noting that the estimates that will be released 9/13/16 are for ANNUAL COVERAGE in 2015, and thus are still a partial snapshot of the full effect of Obamacare's impact on reducing the uninsured.  

In : ACA 

About Me

Timothy McBride Timothy D. McBride, Ph.D. is a Professor at the Brown School, Washington University in St. Louis. Here you can find musings on health policy and other issues. Opinions are my own, and not those of my employer. Contact: