Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.

The Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey measures access to affordable health care over time. 

The Complete Series

patient uses insurance coverage while seeing doctor

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the U.S. had 30 million uninsured people and more than 40 million who were underinsured. According to the Commonwealth Fund’s latest Biennial Health Insurance Survey, more than 43 percent of working-age adults were inadequately insured in the first half of 2020.

What did health insurance coverage look like for U.S. adults in the first half of 2020 as the country slid into the worst public health and economic crisis in generations

Underinsured adult looks at coverage options

The 2018 Commonwealth Fund Biennial Survey, taking a big-picture look at health insurance coverage in America eight years after passage of the Affordable Care Act, finds that the uninsured rate among adults ages 19 to 64 for 2018 was 12.4 percent, statistically unchanged from 2016 — despite actions taken by the Trump administration and Congress to weaken the Affordable Care Act. Since 2010, more people have health insurance, the survey finds, but a higher share of U.S. adults are “underinsured,” meaning they have high health plan deductibles and out-of-pocket medical expenses relative to their income.

Underinsured adult looks at coverage options

This survey provides a snapshot of what health insurance coverage looks like for Americans today, more than eight years after the Affordable Care Act’s passage.

Underinsured woman looking at medical bills

This issue brief focuses on how well health insurance protects people from medical costs, using a measure of “underinsurance” from the Commonwealth Fund’s Biennial Health Insurance Survey to examine trends from 2003 to 2016.

2016 Biennial Survey

Analysis of the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2016, finds that there have been dramatic improvements in people's ability to buy health plans on their own following the passage of the ACA. For lower-income families, uninsured rates dropped about 17 percentage points below their 2010 peak.

patient and doctor talk in hall

According to the latest findings from the Biennial Health Insurance Survey, the percentage of people who shopped for insurance on their own who could not find an affordable plan dropped from 60 percent in 2010 to 34 percent in 2016. Among those with health problems, 70 percent said they had trouble finding an affordable plan in 2010, compared to 42 percent in 2016.

 

doctor patient hospital health care

New results from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, indicate that the Affordable Care Act's subsidized insurance options and consumer protections reduced the number of uninsured working-age adults from an estimated 37 million people, or 20 percent of the population, in 2010 to 29 million, or 16 percent, by the second half of 2014.

<p>New results from the Commonwealth Fund Biennial Health Insurance Survey, 2014, indicate that the Affordable Care Act's subsidized insurance options and consumer protections reduced the number of uninsured working-age adults from an estimated 37 million people, or 20 percent of the population, in 2010 to 29 million, or 16 percent, by the second half of 2014.</p>

Eighty-four million people―nearly half of all working-age U.S. adults―went without health insurance for a time last year or were underinsured because of high out-of-pocket costs relative to income, according to a new study based on findings from the Commonwealth Fund's 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey.

<p>Eighty-four million people―nearly half of all working-age U.S. adults―went without health insurance for a time last year or were underinsured because of high out-of-pocket costs relative to income, according to a new study based on findings from the Commonwealth Fund’s 2012 Biennial Health Insurance Survey.</p>

Using data from the Commonwealth Biennial Health Insurance Survey of 2010 and prior years, this report examines the effect of the recession on the health insurance coverage of adults between the ages of 19 and 64 and the implications for their finances and access to health care.

<p>The survey of 3,033 adults, conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International from July 2010 to November 2010, finds that in the last two years a majority of men and women who lost a job that had health benefits became uninsured.</p>

Family in Medical Debt

This Commonwealth Fund report, which draws on four years of survey data, finds 41 percent of working-age Americans--or 72 million people--have medical bill problems or are paying off medical debt, up from 34 percent in 2005.

<p>The proportion of working-age Americans who have medical bill problems or who are paying off medical debt climbed from 34 percent to 41 percent between 2005 and 2007, bringing the total to 72 million, according to the 2007 Biennial Health Insurance Survey.</p>

Middle-Income Uninsured

America's uninsured crisis disproportionately affects lower-income working families. But new survey data show that moderate-income Americans are increasingly going without health coverage as well.

While America's uninsured crisis disproportionately affects lower-income working families, a new Fund survey finds moderate-income Americans are increasingly going without health coverage as well.

Rising health care costs and growing instability in insurance coverage have made health reform a key issue in this election year, a Commonwealth Fund survey shows. Nearly six of 10 Americans (57%) say presidential and congressional candidates' views on health reform will be a "very important" factor in their vote this November.

This survey assessed insurance status, medical debt, the importance of health care as an election issue, policy options for paying for care and covering the uninsured, and more.

<p>This survey was designed to assess a number of issues related to employer-sponsored coverage, including trends in premiums, deductibles, level of benefits, and overall health costs.</p>

<p>This survey assessed the degree to which working-age adults had been uninsured for at least some period of time during the past year and how their insurance status was related to such issues as accessing health care or paying medical bills.</p>

<p>This survey looked at how Americans feel about the traditional employer-based health insurance system compared with other options for health coverage.</p>

<p>The survey finds that one of three adults age 18 to 64, or 52 million people, either were uninsured or had been uninsured at some time during the previous two years. The vast majority of these adults were in working families.</p>