We ask questions about health insurance coverage to create statistics about the percentage of people covered by health insurance and the sources of health insurance.
Local, state, tribal, and federal agencies use health insurance coverage data to plan government programs, determine eligibility criteria, and encourage eligible people to participate in health insurance programs.
We use your confidential survey answers to create statistics like those in the results below and in the full tables that contain all the data—no one is able to figure out your survey answers from the statistics we produce. The Census Bureau is legally bound to strict confidentiality requirements. Individual records are not shared with anyone, including federal agencies and law enforcement entities. By law, the Census Bureau cannot share respondents' answers with anyone—not the IRS, not the FBI, not the CIA, and not with any other government agency.
We ask one question about the types of health insurance coverage to better understand insurance needs.
The results from this question are compiled to provide communities with important statistics to understand health insurance coverage. You can see some of these published statistics here for the nation, states, and your community.
We ask about health insurance coverage status in combination with other information, such as number and age of children in families, household income, and poverty status, to help communities enroll eligible families in programs designed to assist them. For example, health insurance coverage status and age data are used to encourage eligible people to enroll in Marketplace, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Health insurance data are also used to ensure that these programs are improving health outcomes for families.
We ask about the number and characteristics of veterans eligible to use Department of Veterans Affairs health care, compared to those currently using services, to help communities and the federal government estimate the future demand for health care services and facilities for veterans.
We ask about the health insurance coverage of American Indians to help communities, tribes, and the federal government estimate the demand for health care through the Indian Health Service.
We ask about the health insurance coverage status of people in a community to help planners:
Researchers, advocacy groups, and policymakers are also interested in knowing more about changes in health insurance coverage rates and the characteristics of people who have or do not have health insurance. For example, State Councils on Developmental Disabilities use health insurance coverage data in their comprehensive reviews and analyses of the unmet needs of people with developmental disabilities.
The health insurance coverage question was added to the ACS in 2008. In 2019, questions about health insurance premiums and subsidies were added to the ACS. Research about these questions and copies of previous questionnaires are available on the ACS website.