Health Insurance Access Research


Vermont is a national leader in expanding health insurance access to its residents. Early efforts focused on promoting and expanding Green Mountain Care, the states’ Medicaid and Children’s Health Insurance Program.  In 2011, Vermont was the first state to pass legislation to enact universal health care, but later dropped that plan and created a Health Insurance Exchange under the Affordable Care Act.

In 2001, Market Decisions Research began its support for Vermont’s efforts with an 8,685  sample telephone survey of the insured and uninsured. Since that time MDR has conducted six additional statewide surveys of citizens, almost 35,000 surveys in total. MDR also conducted evaluations of insurance reform efforts, analysis of state assistance for employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), and surveys of businesses and focus groups among the uninsured and underinsured to guide the development of the state’s health exchange, Vermont Connect.

Vermont officials use MDR research data to improve enrollment in existing programs, design new programs to expand health insurance coverage and to evaluate the effectiveness of programs. This effort has led to impressive results; the number of uninsured has dropped by more than half, from 8.4% in 2000 to 3.7% in 2014.

2014 Survey Administration

The 2014 Vermont Health Insurance Survey consisted of 4,052 telephone interviews. However, MDR’s proprietary questionnaire rosters members of a household and collects information on each family member so the survey captured information about the health insurance status of 8,923 individuals, including 322 uninsured residents.  In addition to providing valuable information about who and how many were insured or uninsured, the survey provided information to inform initiatives to reduce the number of uninsured and underinsured.

The research,

  • Estimated the number and characteristics of uninsured Vermont residents eligible for the Vermont state health insurance programs or for coverage through the health exchange.
  • Identified the number of residents who had employer-sponsored insurance, but did not enroll in the plan and the reasons for not enrolling.
  • Identified the number of privately insured residents who are underinsured with limited coverage or very high deductibles.
  • Analyzed characteristics of the uninsured including demographics, income, employer and health status characteristics, duration of current uninsured spell and reasons for being uninsured.

2018 Survey Administration

The 2018 Vermont Health Insurance Survey consisted of 3,037 telephone interviews. Results are expected to be released in December 2018.

Learn More!

Data supported Vermont’s efforts to drive the rate of uninsured to 3.7%, one of the lowest in the US.

We have conducted seven surveys of the state’s households, including almost 35,000 respondents.

Data are used to design and expand health insurance programs and coverage.

Brian Robertson, PhD - Practice Leader