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Covered by CHAMPVA last year

Codes and Frequencies

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CHAMPVALY identifies persons who had health insurance coverage from the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veteran's Affairs during the last year. CHAMPVA is a health care benefits program for the spouse or widow(er) and for the children of a veteran who met one of the following four conditions: 1) is rated permanently and totally disabled due to a service-related disability; 2) was so rated at the time of death; 3) died of a service-related disability; or 4) died while on active duty.

Information on CHAMPVA coverage was collected through an initial question asking about health insurance from several government programs and a follow-up question about the name of the insurance plan for those who reported such coverage.

Through programming in IPUMS CPS, other cases were added to the pool of positive responses for CHAMPVALY in 1996-2018. If the respondent mentioned CHAMPVA coverage when answering a catchall summary question on "other" health insurance plans, after hearing questions about many specific types of insurance coverage (including CHAMPVA), then that person was given a positive response for CHAMPVALY in IPUMS CPS.


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.

Beginning in 2019, infants in the household who were born after the calendar year (i.e. born in January-March of the current year), are separated from other household members who did not have CHAMPVA coverage during the previous year and are coded as NIU in IPUMS CPS. Prior to this change, infants born after the calendar year, and who could not have had CHAMPVA coverage during the previous year were coded as "No" in CHAMPVALY.

In the 2001-2018 ASEC surveys, the CPS added a verification question (see VERIFY for more information) to ascertain whether respondents who did not acknowledge health insurance coverage of various types in previous questions, actually lacked insurance coverage during the preceding calendar year. Persons who acknowledged health insurance coverage in this verification follow-up question were asked about the types of health insurance coverage they had. In IPUMS CPS, for the 2001-2018 ASE, persons who reported CHAMPVA coverage in response to this question were added, through programming, to the pool of positive responses for the CHAMPVALY variable. For consistency in results before and after the ASEC 2001 survey, researchers should exclude cases of CHAMPVA coverage that were only identified via the verification question (i.e., exclude cases coded as "Yes" (2) in VERIFY when analyzing the CHAMPVA data).

For 1996 and 1997 only, persons who reported being covered by CHAMPVA or CHAMPUS during the previous week are identified in CHAMPLW.


  • 1996-2018 ASEC: All persons.
  • 2019-2023 ASEC: Persons born before the calendar year.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables