Frequently Asked Questions
1. Does the Census Bureau collect health insurance data from health insurance providers?
2. Why can't I find annual health insurance before 1987?
Health insurance data are collected from people (health insurance consumers) in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS), and in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Reports and tables for the nation and states are available from the CPS. Only national estimates are available from the SIPP prior to the 2004 Panel. Both the CPS and SIPP surveys produce public-use data sets allowing users to tabulate the data themselves. While the Census Bureau does not publish data based on information collected from health insurance providers, it does collect employer health insurance data annually for the insurance component of the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, an annual survey conducted for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). For more information, go to: http://meps.ahrq.gov.
The Census Bureau began collecting health insurance data on the Current Population Survey in 1987.
3. Do you have statistics on health costs and health service utilization?
The Medical Expenses and Utilization of Health Care (Adults and Children) Topical Module of the Survey of Income and Program Participation collects information on health costs and health service utilization. The Census Bureau does not regularly produce tables or reports based on this information; however, the data are available for download at http://www.bls.census.gov/sipp_ftp.html#sipp01. A good source outside of the Census Bureau for this data is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (http://www.ahcpr.gov/). It oversees the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).
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: December 07, 2004