Health Insurance Coverage

National and State Level Data

Statistics on the health insurance coverage at the national or state level can be obtained from three main sources: Current Population Survey (CPS), National Health Interview Survey (NHIS), and Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP).

The CPS is a monthly national survey of about 50,000 American households conducted since 1987.  It provides information on the characteristics of the U.S. labor force including employment, unemployment, earnings, and hours of work, broken down by individual demographic characteristics.  In addition, in certain months of the survey year the CPS also collects supplemental questions, such as health insurance coverage, income, and poverty.

The NHIS is designed specifically to study human health, which among others include individual's health insurance coverage.  The NHIS survey is conducted every year by National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), which is a part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) is a longitudinal survey administered by the U.S. federal government.  The information collected from this survey, which includes health insurance coverage, is primarily used to evaluate the effectiveness of federal, state, and local programs.  The reports, however, are not available on an annual basis.


Sub-State Level Data

Currently, two sources provide health insurance coverage data at sub-state level, including the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS) 5-Year Estimates and Small Area Health Insurance Estimates (SAHIE).

The ACS is a large, continuous survey that samples approximately 3 million addresses per year across the nation. It eliminates the long form 2010 Census and future decennial censuses. Starting with the 2008 survey, the ACS includes questions on individuals’ health insurance coverage.

SAHIE estimates, on the other hand, is generated by a program that models health insurance coverage for small areas by combining survey data (such as Current Population Survey) with population estimates and administrative records (such as Medicaid records, Tax Returns, Children Health Insurance Program records).

Public Reports on Health Insurance Coverage