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Covered by VA or Military health care last year

Codes and Frequencies

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MILITVA identifies persons who had health insurance coverage, during the previous calendar year, from Military Health Care or the Veterans Administration. Military Health Care provides medical care on military bases to current armed forces members and their dependents. Medical care from the VA is available to honorably discharged veterans who either have a service connected illness, injury, or disability, or whose incomes are near or below poverty.

Information on health insurance from these two sources was collected through an initial question asking about health insurance from several government programs (CHAMPUS, CHAMPVA, VA, Indian Health Service, "other") 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 MILITVA. If the respondent mentioned insurance from Military Health Care or the VA when answering a catchall summary question on "other" health insurance plans--after hearing questions about many specific types of insurance--then that person was given a positive response for MILITVA in IPUMS-CPS.

While most of the health insurance variables in the CPS have, at most, 3 categories (Not in universe, No, and Yes), MILITVA has 4 categories in addition to "No." The first of these four categories, Military Health Care or VA health care, represents grouped data collected during the question about insurance from the government. The three remaining responses--VA health care only; Military Health Care only; both VA and Military Health Care--represent the separately coded answers to the question about "other" insurance.


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 with the ASEC 2001 survey, 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 ASEC 2001 survey onward, persons who reported Military Health Care and/or VA coverage in response to this question were added, through programming, to the pool of positive responses for the MILITVA variable. For consistency in results before and after the ASEC 2001 survey, researchers should exclude cases of Military Health Care and VA coverage that were only identified via the verification question (i.e., exclude cases coded as "Yes" (2) in VERIFY when analyzing the MILITVA data).

For 1996 and 1997 only, persons who reported being covered by Military Health Care or the Veterans Administration during the previous week, are identified in MILVALW.

Beginning in 2006, this variable excludes persons who reported military health care, and only includes those who reported VA. In 2006, TRCCOVLY includes those who reported military health care. Thus, the better comparable variable is HICHAMP, which indicates whether the respondent was covered by CHAMPUS(TRICARE), VA, or other military health care.


  • All persons.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1996 – 2018 - - X - - - - - - - - -


This variable has no flags.

Unharmonized Variables