About The Survey

HOW THIS SURVEY WAS CONDUCTED

The Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act (ACA) Tracking Survey, February–April 2016, was conducted by SSRS from February 2 to April 5, 2016. The survey consisted of 15-minute telephone interviews in English or Spanish, conducted among a random, nationally representative sample of 4,802 adults ages 19 to 64 living in the United States. Overall, 1,496 interviews were conducted on landline telephones and 3,306 interviews on cell phones.

This survey is the fourth in a series of Commonwealth Fund surveys to track the implemen­tation and impact of the ACA. The first was conducted by SSRS from July 15 to September 8, 2013, by telephone among a random, nationally representative U.S. sample of 6,132 adults ages 19 to 64. The survey had an overall margin of sampling error of +/– 1.8 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The second survey in the series was conducted by SSRS from April 9 to June 2, 2014, by telephone among a random, nationally representative U.S. sample of 4,425 adults ages 19 to 64. The survey had an overall margin of sampling error of +/– 2.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confi­dence level. The sample for the April–June 2014 survey was designed to increase the likelihood of sur­veying respondents who were most likely eligible for new coverage options under the ACA. As such, respondents in the July–September 2013 survey who said they were uninsured or had individual cov­erage were asked if they could be recontacted for the April–June 2014 survey. SSRS also recontacted households reached through their omnibus survey of adults who were uninsured or had individual coverage prior to the first open enrollment period for 2014 marketplace coverage.

This third survey in the series was conducted by SSRS from March 9 to May 3, 2015, by telephone among a random, nationally representative U.S. sample of 4,881 adults ages 19 to 64. The March–May 2015 sample also was designed to increase the likelihood of surveying respondents who had gained coverage under the ACA. SSRS recontacted households reached through their omnibus survey of adults between November 5, 2014, and February 1, 2015, who were uninsured, had indi­vidual coverage, had a marketplace plan, or had public insurance. The survey had an overall margin of sampling error of +/– 2.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

The February–April 2016 sample also was designed to increase the likelihood of surveying respondents who had gained coverage under the ACA. Interviews in wave 4 were obtained through two sources: stratified random-digit-dialing sample, using the same methodology as in waves 1, 2 and 3; and households reached through the SSRS omnibus survey, where interviews were previously completed with respondents ages 19 to 64 who were uninsured, had individual coverage, had a mar­ketplace plan, or had public insurance.

As in all waves of the survey, SSRS oversampled adults with incomes under 250 percent of poverty to further increase the likelihood of surveying respondents eligible for the coverage options as well as allow separate analyses of responses of low-income households.

The data are weighted to correct for the stratified sample design, the use of recontacted respondents from the omnibus survey, the overlapping landline and cell phone sample frames, and disproportionate nonresponse that might bias results. The data are weighted to the U.S. 19-to-64 adult population by age, gender, race/ethnicity, education, household size, geographic division, and population density using the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2014 American Community Survey, and weighted by household telephone use using the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s 2014 National Health Interview Survey.

The resulting weighted sample is representative of the approximately 189 million U.S. adults ages 19 to 64. Data for income, and subsequently for federal poverty level, were imputed for cases with missing data, utilizing a standard regression imputation procedure. The survey has an overall margin of sampling error of +/– 2.0 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The land­line portion of the main-sample survey achieved a 22.6 percent response rate and the cellular phone main-sample component achieved a 13.9 percent response rate. The overall response rate, including the prescreened sample, was 13.9 percent.

Read the complete survey findings and analysis