Statistical Brief #464
Estimates of the health insurance status of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population are critical to policymakers and others concerned with access to medical care and the cost and quality of that care. Health insurance helps people get timely access to medical care and protects them against the risk of expensive and unanticipated medical events. When estimating the size of the uninsured population, it is important to consider the distinction between those uninsured for short periods of time and those who are uninsured for several years.
Using information from the Household Component of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS-HC) for 2011 and 2012, this Statistical Brief provides detailed estimates for the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized non-elderly (under age 65) population that was uninsured for the entire 2009–2012 period and identifies groups most at risk of lacking any coverage during that four-year period. The inclusion of questions in MEPS to determine health insurance coverage profiles for the period covering 2011 and 2012, in concert with information on health insurance profiles from the National Health Interview Survey for 2010, facilitated these analyses of extended longitudinal profiles. All differences between estimates discussed in the text are statistically significant at the 0.05 level unless otherwise noted.
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