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Covered by military health insurance last year

Codes and Frequencies

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HICHAMP indicates whether the respondent was covered by CHAMPUS, VA, or other military health care during the previous calendar year.

For 1980-1987, information on military health insurance coverage was collected only on persons age 15 and above. The CPS interviewer asked, "At any time during [the previous year], was anyone in this household covered by CHAMPUS, VA, or military health care? Who was that?" Editing by the Census Bureau allotted coverage (a "yes" response in HICHAMP) to the child and adult dependents (e.g., children, spouse) covered by the policy of the household member enrolled in CHAMPUS or other military health care.

For 1988-1993, the question wording remained the same, but CPS interviewers directly collected information on military health insurance coverage for all household members, of all ages. With the introduction of computer-assisted interviewing technology (CATI) in 1994, information was collected through a series of questions, after the interviewer had asked about employment-based and privately-purchased insurance, Medicaid, and Medicare. Specifically, the interviewer asked, "At any time during [the previous calendar year], was anyone in the household covered by any other kind of health insurance, including CHAMPUS, CHAMPVA, VA or military health care, or the Indian Health Service? Who was that? What plan were you covered by?" Those who reported coverage by CHAMPUS, CHAMPVA, or VA health care were coded as "yes" in HICHAMP.


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 TRICARE, CHAMPVA, or VACARE 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 any of these types of insurance coverage during the previous year were coded as "No." Military health care is not included in this variable beginning in 2019.

A number of health insurance variables that became available starting in 1996 overlap with HICHAMP. TRCCOVLY, CHAMPVAly, and MILITVA cover health insurance via the CHAMPUS, CHAMPVA, and Military Health Care and VA programs, specifically, during the previous calendar year. In IPUMS CPS, additional cases were added to these variables if respondents reported health care from specific military health care programs in response to follow-up questions about "other" health insurance and a verification question (see VERIFY) about whether a household member was, indeed, without any health insurance coverage during the previous calendar year.

While the editing carried out by the Census Bureau for 1980-1987, allotting coverage to the dependents of persons enrolled in military health care, minimizes the discontinuity, the Census Bureau warns that the data for 1980-1987 may not be comparable to that for 1988 and later years, due to the shift from collecting health insurance information for adults only to collecting insurance information on all household members. Wording changes, such as adding CHAMPVA to the list of military health care programs identified by name, may also reduce the comparability of the data over time.


  • 1980-2018 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
1980 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -


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