To examine changes in uninsurance rates among U.S. adolescents ages 12‐17 and assess whether trends over time differed by citizenship status, Latino ethnicity, and household language.
2007‐2016 National Health Insurance Survey (NHIS).
Multivariable logistic regression and postestimation marginal effects were used to assess changes in the current uninsured rate. Logistic regression models were used to determine significant trends over time for each demographic group and compare them to trends in the broader adolescent population. Marginal effects were employed to calculate adjusted outcome probabilities for each year.
Across all 12‐ to 17‐year‐olds, the unadjusted uninsured rate dropped significantly between 2007 and 2016, from 10.2 percent to 6.0 percent. For noncitizen youth, the probability of being uninsured increased from 26.6 percent in 2007 to 28.4 percent in 2016, after controlling for covariates. Latino youth and those in Spanish‐speaking households saw declines in their adjusted uninsurance rate that was proportional to non‐Latino and English‐speaking youth.
Most adolescents saw significant improvements in health insurance coverage between 2007 and 2016; however, disparities remain among Spanish‐speaking and Latino adolescents and no improvements were seen among noncitizen youth. This suggests a need for equity‐focused eligibility, outreach, and enrollment policies that expand insurance options for these populations.
Data Sources/Study Setting