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Life Health > Health Insurance

Overall private health insurance use rises

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U.S. residents are more likely than they were to have health coverage, more likely to have private coverage, and less likely to private non-exchange coverage.

The Census Bureau has published data supporting those conclusions in a release of preliminary data from the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) program.

The percentage of U.S. residents who had health coverage during the second quarter fell to 12.9 percent, from 16.5 percent in the second quarter of 2013. The historic figures in the new NHIS report go back to 2010. The new overall uninsured rate is the lowest the NHIS team has recorded over that period of time.

The bureau is counting people who get major medical coverage through a Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) private exchange as having private health coverage.

The total percentage of the U.S. population with private health coverage increased to 63.8 percent in the second quarter, from 62.1 percent in the second quarter of 2013. The share of the population with some kind of private coverage is the highest since at least 2010.

See also: 10 top health insurers report Q2 enrollment

About 2.4 percent of the people in the sample had private coverage purchased through a PPACA public exchange.

The percentage of people who had non-exchange private coverage fell to 61.4 percent, from 62.1 percent in the comparable quarter in 2013, before the exchange system existed. But the percentage with private, non-exchange coverage was the same as in 2011 and higher than in the second quarter of 2010, when only 60.9 percent of the people in the NHIS sample had private health coverage.

The NHIS team did not provide separate figures for use of employment-based private coverage and individual private coverage.

The percentage of people classified as having public health coverage rose to 24.7 percent. That’s up from 22.9 percent in the second quarter of 2013 and is the highest level the NHIS team has recorded over the 2010-2014 timeframe.


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