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Race, Ethnicity, and Language Preference in the Health Insurance Marketplaces 2017 Open Enrollment Period


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Volume 7 - April 2017

Race, Ethnicity, and Language Preference in the Health Insurance Marketplaces 2017 Open Enrollment Period

Key Findings:
  • Over one-third (36.54%) of consumers ages 18-64 in HealthCare.gov states did not attest to a specific racial group. Of those who did, the most frequently selected race was White (76.00%), followed by Black (11.80%) and Asian (10.01%).
  • About one in ten consumers ages 18-64 in HealthCare.gov states (10.37%) attested to a Hispanic ethnicity. Of those consumers who attested to a Hispanic ethnicity, the most frequently selected subgroups were Mexican (44.00%) and "Other" (33.25%).
  • One quarter of consumers ages 18-64 in HealthCare.gov states (25.56%) did not select a spoken language. Of those who did, the most frequently selected spoken language was English (89.93%), followed by Spanish (8.36%). This pattern is similar to adult Marketplace consumer written language preferences.

Data Source: CMS Multi-Dimensional Insurance Data Analytics System (MIDAS), 2017.

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Introduction

Following the conclusion of each Marketplace Open Enrollment Period (OEP), the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) releases a Final Enrollment Report. These reports summarize the enrollment-related activity in the individual Marketplaces during each OEP for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC). The current data highlight complements the most recent 2017 OEP Final Enrollment Report[1] by — for the first time ever — examining Marketplace enrollment activity stratified by the detailed racial and ethnic categories specified in Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) standards[2] as well as detailed spoken and written language preference.

The HealthCare.gov eligibility and enrollment platform includes data on the distribution of plan selections by certain demographic characteristics, including self-reported race and ethnicity. This data highlight focuses on the 39 states utilizing the HealthCare.gov platform,i which comprise 69.09% of the U.S. resident population ages 18-64 (hereafter "adults"). This highlight includes Qualified Health Plan (QHP) plan selections made on the HealthCare.gov Marketplace platform and does not include data for the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) or states that run their own Marketplace platforms. It covers all activity during the 2017 OEP, which spanned from November 1, 2016 though January 31, 2017.


iIn the 2017 OEP, five State-based Marketplaces ran their own exchange but used the HealthCare.gov platform for eligibility determinations and enrollment and other related functions: Arkansas, Kentucky, Nevada, New Mexico, and Oregon.

References

  1. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. (2017). Health Insurance Marketplaces 2017 Open Enrollment Period Final Enrollment Report: November 1, 2016-January 31, 2017. [News release]. Retrieved from https://www.cms.gov/Newsroom/MediaReleaseDatabase/Fact-sheets/2017-Fact-Sheet-items/2017-03-15.html
  2. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. (2011). Implementation Guidance on Data Collection Standard for Race, Ethnicity, Sex, Primary Language, and Disability Status, 2011. Retrieved from https://aspe.hhs.gov/basic-report/hhs-implementation-guidance-data-collection-standards-race-ethnicity-sex-primary-language-and-disability-status (accessed March 21, 2017)


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