Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey, March-May 2015

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Survey results analyzed in:


Country: United States

Survey Organization: Social Science Research Solutions

Field Dates: March 9, 2015, to May 3, 2015

Sample: Nationally representative sample of 4,881 adults, ages 19 to 64

Sample Size: Overall, 2,203 interviews were conducted on landline telephones and 2,678 interviews on cellular phones, including 1,729 with respondents who lived in households with no landline telephone access.

Interview Method: The March–May 2015 sample was also designed to increase the likelihood of surveying respondents who had gained coverage under the ACA. SSRS included a prescreened sample of households reached through their omnibus survey of adults (between November 5, 2014, and February 1, 2015) with respondents who were uninsured, had individual coverage, had a marketplace plan, or had public insurance. As in all waves of the survey, the main sample was stratified to maximize the number of interviews with persons reporting incomes 250 percent of the poverty level or lower 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 cellular 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 by state (for seven state breaks: California, Texas, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and all other states), gender by state, race/ethnicity by state, education by state, household size, geographic division, and population density using the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 American Community Survey. Data are weighted to household telephone use parameters using the CDC’s 2014 National Health Interview Survey. 

The resulting weighted sample is representative of the approximately 187.8 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 +/– 2.1 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The landline portion of the main-sample survey achieved a 16.9 percent response rate and the cellular phone main-sample component achieved a 13.3 percent response rate. The response rate for the prescreened sample is 4 percent. The final response rate for the full study takes into account the response rates provided for the main-sample survey, the prescreened sample, and the average response rate of the original SSRS omnibus survey from which prescreened sample was obtained. The overall response rate was 12.8 percent.


The latest Commonwealth Fund Affordable Care Act Tracking Survey finds the share of uninsured working-age adults was 13 percent in March–May 2015, compared with 20 percent just before the major coverage expansions went into effect. More than half of adults who currently have coverage either through the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) marketplace plans or Medicaid expansion were uninsured prior to gaining coverage. Of those, more than 60 percent lacked coverage for one year or longer. More than six of 10 adults who used their new plans to obtain care reported they could not have afforded or accessed it previously. Majorities of people with ACA coverage who have used their plans express satisfaction with the doctors covered in their networks and are able to find physicians with relative ease. Wait times to get appointments with physicians in marketplace plans and Medicaid are comparable to those reported by other working-age adults.

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