Survey says Conn. has third-lowest rate of uninsured – but questions reliability of data

By Kevin Zimmerman

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Connecticut had the third-lowest rate of uninsured residents in the nation last year according to a new report – though it warned that the state’s data “does not meet standards of reliability or precision.”

According to the National Health Interview Survey, released by the National Center for Health Statistics – which falls under the auspices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Connecticut’s uninsured rate last year was 3.5 percent, trailing Hawaii (2.3 percent) and Massachusetts (3.1 percent), though those two states’ figures were also cited for apparent unreliability. New York’s uninsured rate of 5.4 percent did not come with that caveat.

The organization’s 2015 survey reported an uninsured rate of 4.9 percent in the Nutmeg State.

The latest survey also reported that 5.8 percent of adults in Connecticut ages 18 to 65 were uninsured, but did not include the “reliability” caveat, as again did leading Hawaii (2.8 percent) and Massachusetts (4.6 percent). Rhode Island’s 5.4 percent and New York’s 7.3 percent were also undisputed.

Connecticut did not supply enough data for an estimate of uninsured persons ages zero to 17.

The National Health Interview Survey figures were based on interviews with 73,223 people conducted from January through September 2016. The uninsured rates were based on whether people had insurance at the time they were interviewed, which the organization said typically leads to lower uninsured rates than the number of people without coverage at any point during the year.

Nationally, 8.8 percent of people in the U.S. were uninsured when interviewed, a 0.3 percent decline from 2015.

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