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Policyholder for privately-purchased insurance last year

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PRIVOWN indicates whether, during the previous calendar year, the respondent was the policyholder for health insurance that was purchased directly and that was not related to current or past employment. The interviewer asked whether, at any time during the previous calendar year, anyone in the household was covered by privately-purchased health insurance. Follow-up questions identified the policyholder(s) and other persons covered by such insurance, including persons living outside the household.

Through programming in IPUMS-CPS, other cases were added to the pool of positive responses for PRIVOWN. Such additions were made when the respondent mentioned being the policyholder for such insurance, when answering a catchall summary question on "other" health insurance plans, following questions about many specific types of insurance coverage.

Persons who had privately-purchased insurance coverage as dependents of a policyholder are identified in the PRIVDEP variable. Up to two household members who were policyholders for privately-purchased health insurance are identified in the PRIVWHO1 and PRIVWHO2 variables. PRIVTYP indicates whether the policyholder's privately-purchased health insurance covered the respondent only or also covered family members, and PRIVOUT reports whether the policyholder's coverage extended to persons outside the household.


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 for the period from 1996 through 2000.

Beginning with the ASEC 2001 survey, the CPS added a verification question (see VERIFY) 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 that they were policyholders for privately-purchased insurance in response to this question were added, through programming, to the pool of positive responses for the PRIVOWN variable. For consistency in results before and after the ASEC 2001 survey, researchers should exclude cases of PRIVOWN coverage only identified via the verification question (i.e., exclude cases coded as "Yes" (2) in VERIFY when analyzing the PRIVOWN data).


  • Persons 15+.


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




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