U.S. Census Bureau
 Health Insurance

CPS Health Insurance Definitions

The Census Bureau broadly classifies health insurance coverage as either Private (non-government) coverage or Government-sponsored coverage.

Private Health Insurance

Private health insurance is coverage by a health plan provided through an employer or union or purchased by an individual from a private health insurance company.

Government Health Insurance

Government health insurance includes plans funded by governments as the federal, state, or local level. The major categories of government health insurance are medicare, medicaid, the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), military health care, state plans, and the Indian Health Service.

*After consulting with health insurance experts, the Census Bureau modified the definition of the population without health insurance in the Supplement to the March 1998 Current Population Survey, which collected data about coverage in 1997. Previously, people with no coverage other than access to the Indian Health Service were counted as part of the insured population. Subsequently, the Census Bureau has counted these people as uninsured. The effect of this change on the overall estimates of health insurance coverage was negligible.

oCurrent Population Survey (CPS)-Definitions and Explanations

Contact the Demographic Call Center Staff at 301-763-2422 or 1-866-758-1060 (toll free) or visit ask.census.gov for further information on Health Insurance Data.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division
Last Revised: August 26, 2008