The percentage of Californians without health insurance remained stable and low in 2018, thanks to actions by state legislators, according to a policy brief produced by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health Center for Health Policy Research. The findings are unlike the rest of the nation, which saw an increase in the rate of uninsurance.
The uninsured rate dropped nearly by half to 8.1 percent last year, compared with 15.5 percent in 2013, according to the brief. Insurance coverage is one of many topics covered in newly released data from the 2018 California Health Interview Survey.
The 2018 edition of the survey, which includes responses from 23,195 children, adolescents and adults, is the nation’s largest state health survey. It covers a range of health topics such as mental health, oral health, health status and behaviors. New questions in the 2018 adult survey looked at non-cigarette tobacco use, use of tobacco products and e-cigarette flavors, secondhand smoke exposure and rules about smoking/vaping, and a well-being scale.
“For nearly 20 years, CHIS has been an invaluable source of data for health care leaders,” said Dr. Ninez Ponce, the survey’s principal investigator, director of the Center of Health Policy Research and professor at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. “Our design means the survey is flexible enough to provide data on emerging health issues such as marijuana use and e-cigarettes. But our longevity also means we have excellent historical data needed to understand trends over time and the implications of new health policies, such as state efforts to maintain coverage support amid federal changes to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.”Friday Letter Submission, Publish on November 01