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CAIDNW identifies persons who reported having Medicaid coverage at the time of their interview. Interviewers defined Medicaid as "the government assistance that pays for health care," and they mentioned both federal Medicaid programs and the Medicaid programs specific to the state where the household was located when collecting this information.

Medicaid pays for medical assistance to low-income families with dependent children and to aged, blind, or permanently and totally disabled individuals with incomes insufficient to meet the costs of medical services. The program became law in 1965. Medicaid is administered by state agencies and is jointly funded by the federal, state, and, sometimes, local governments. Eligibility requirements for this means-tested program vary across states. All recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and most recipients of Supplemental Security Income (SSI) are eligible for Medicaid coverage. In some states, other persons qualify, such as needy unemployed persons who have children and who are not receiving cash assistance, and medically needy persons whose income and assets are too low to cover their medical costs. Many Medicaid recipients are inmates of medical institutions, such as low-income elderly persons in nursing homes. Such institutionalized persons are not included in the CPS sample.


User Note: For a set of variables that addresses many of the comparability issues in the CPS health insurance measures, see the summary health insurance variables created by the University of Minnesota's State Health Access Data Assistance Center.

This variable is comparable across available years.


  • 2019-2023 ASEC: All persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
2019 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables