Knowing who has health insurance coverage and what type of coverage they have, and, importantly, who doesn't have coverage, is a foundational building block in understanding health needs of a population (ability to access and utilize care and services), understanding affordability (costs of care both in dollars and in behavior changes), and is an important consideration when assessing quality of care and health outcomes.
State Health Compare traditionally provides annually updated state-level measures of health insurance coverage using single-year data from the U.S. Census Bureau's American Community Survey (ACS); however, due to substantial disruptions to the data collection process and significant nonresponse bias in the 2020 ACS caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SHADAC used the Current Population Survey (CPS) to produce a special, one-year only measure of state-level insurance coverage in 2020.
This measure shows the rates of different types of health insurance coverage (Medicare, employer-sponsored insurance [ESI], Medicaid, individual, as well as uninsurance) for 2020 only, and can be viewed by a limited set of breakdowns such as age, health status, and poverty level.
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This blog details the reasoning behind SHADAC’s use of the Current Population Survey (CPS) to produce state-level estimates of health insurance coverage in 2020, rather than the American Community Survey (ACS), due to the impact of the COVID pandemic on the ACS data. The blog also examines key differences between the two surveys.
This blog post presents highlights from the 2020 Current Population Survey state-level coverage estimates, looking at changes in uninsured, private and public coverage rates between 2018 and 2020. SHADAC researchers drew on 2018 estimates for this analysis as a pre-COVID baseline unaffected by pandemic-related data collection challenges.