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Assessing Americans' Familiarity With Health Insurance Terms and Concepts

This Kaiser Family Foundation Survey, Assessing Americans’ Familiarity with Health Insurance Terms and Concepts, was designed and analyzed by researchers at the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), and was conducted October 17-27, 2014, among a nationally representative sample of 1,292 adults ages 18 and older, including an oversample of adults age 18-64 who have no health insurance. KFF paid for all costs associated with the survey. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish using GfK’s KnowledgePanel, an online research panel. KnowledgePanel members are recruited through probability sampling methods and include both those with internet access and those without (KnowledgePanel provides internet access for those who do not have it and, if needed, a device to access the internet when they join the panel). A combination of random digit dialing (RDD) and address-based sampling (ABS) methodologies have been used to recruit panel members (in 2009 KnowledgePanel switched its sampling methodology for recruiting panel members from RDD to ABS). The panel comprises households with landlines and cellular phones, including those with only cell phones, and those without a phone. Both the RDD and ABS samples were provided by Marketing Systems Group (MSG). KnowledgePanel continually recruits new panel members throughout the year to offset panel attrition as people leave the panel.

The survey data were weighted to be representative of adults nationwide. Weighting took place in two stages. First, all members of the panel carry a weight designed to produce a nationally representative sample of the U.S. adult population based on gender, age, race/ethnicity, education, region, household income, home ownership status, metropolitan area, and Internet access. In the second stage, design weights were adjusted to account for the oversample and adjust for any differential survey non-response. An iterative procedure was used to adjust the final sample to match benchmarks from the March 2014 Supplement to the Census Bureau’s Current Population Survey (CPS) on age, gender, race/ethnicity, region, education, metropolitan area, household income, internet access, and primary language (English Dominant, Bilingual, Spanish Dominant, Non-Hispanic).1

Margins of sampling error and tests of statistical significance take into account the effect of weighting. The margin of sampling error including the design effect for the full sample of 1,292 adults is plus or minus 3 percentage points. Numbers of respondents and margin of sampling error for key subgroups are shown in the table below. For results based on other subgroups, the margin of sampling error may be higher. Sample sizes and margins of sampling error for other subgroups are available by request. Note that sampling error is only one of many potential sources of error in this or any other public opinion poll.

Group N (unweighted) M.O.S.E.
Total 1,292 ± 3 percentage points
Insurance Status
   Insured, age 18-64 794 ± 4 percentage points
   Uninsured, age 18-64 194 ± 8 percentage points
Age
   18-29 204 ± 8 percentage points
   30-49 413 ± 5 percentage points
   50-64 425 ± 5 percentage points
   65+ 250 ± 7 percentage points
Gender
   Men 650 ± 4 percentage points
   Women 642 ± 4 percentage points
Education
   High school grad or less  549 ± 5 percentage points
   Some college  349 ± 5 percentage points
   College grad or more  394 ± 5 percentage points
Findings

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.