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Employer-sponsored insurance (summary)

Codes and Frequencies

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HINSEMP is a variable constructed by the State Health Access Data Assistance Center (SHADAC) at the University of Minnesota. It indicates whether respondents had any employer-sponsored health insurance coverage during the previous year.

Some respondents are covered under the policy of someone outside of the household. They are considered to have private health insurance coverage and are coded as such in HCOVPRIV, but not enough information is available to classify these cases as either employer-sponsored or individually purchased.

Analyses of HINSEMP must use the weight variable HINSWT.

A schematic diagram of the summary health insurance variables follows:

Public or Private
Type of Insurance
SHADAC Enhanced Variable
Covered by any type (HCOVANY)
Private (HCOVPRIV) (1) Employer-sponsored HINSEMP
(2) Individually purchased HINSPUR
(Covered by someone outside the home) (unavailable in summary variables)
Public (HCOVPUB) (3) Any Medicaid/SCHIP/other public insurance HINSCAID
(4) Medicare HINSCARE
(5) Military HINSMIL


This variable is available for the 1996-onward period and is generally comparable across these years.

In 2001, the CPS introduced an item (VERIFY) to verify that respondents who claimed no insurance coverage on any of the survey items were in fact uninsured. SHADAC used this information to impute the verification question for 1988-2000 cases; those who likely would have reported some type of employer-sponsored insurance coverage had they been asked the verification question have been coded as having such insurance in HINSEMP.

Prior to the 2007 CPS, the Census Bureau changed their editing procedures for assigning private health insurance coverage to non-policy holders. These changes resulted in fewer people being considered uninsured. This edit was fixed with the release of the 2007 CPS. The 2005 and the 2006 surveys were fixed retrospectively and re-released in ASEC 2007. The Census Bureau decided not to retrospectively fix the edit in the years prior to 2005. They did, however, release an indicator variable that approximates the edit in earlier years. These fixes are reflected in the summary health insurance variables as well as the estimates that the Census produces from the CPS.

Comparability with IPUMS-USA

There are many methodological differences between the measurement of health insurance coverage in the CPS and the American Community Survey; but conceptually, HINSEMP is comparable to the IPUMS-USA variable HINSEMP. For more information, see SHADAC Issue Brief No. 18.


  • All persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996 – 2013 - - X - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.

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