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Covered by Champus/Tricare last year

Codes and Frequencies

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TRCCOVLY identifies persons who had TRICARE coverage during the previous calendar year. TRICARE was formerly known as the Civilian Health and Medical Program Uniform Service of the Department of Defense, or CHAMPUS. CHAMPUS was a health care benefits program that provides in-patient and out-patient care from civilian sources and Military Treatment Facilities on a cost sharing basis. In the late 1990s, a managed care approach was phased in, under the name TRICARE. Retired members of the military are eligible for such coverage, as are the dependents of active-duty, retired, and deceased military.

Information on TRICARE 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 TRCCOVLY in 1996-2018. If the respondent mentioned CHAMPUS or TRICARE coverage when answering a catchall summary question on "other" health insurance plans, after hearing questions about many specific types of insurance coverage (including CHAMPUS/TRICARE), then that person was given a positive response for TRCCOVLY 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 TRICARE 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 TRICARE coverage during the previous year were coded as "No."

In the 2001-2018 ASEC 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 2001-2018 ASEC, persons who reported CHAMPUS/TRICARE coverage in response to this question were added, through programming, to the pool of positive responses for the TRCCOVLY variable. For consistency in results before and after the ASEC 2001 survey, researchers should exclude cases of CHAMPUS coverage that were only identified via the verification question (i.e., exclude cases coded as "Yes" (2) in VERIFY when analyzing the TRCCOVLY data).

Beginning in 2006, this variable includes persons who reported TRICARE, CHAMPUS, or military health care. However, until 2005, persons who reported military health care was included in MILITVA. Thus, the better comparable variable is HICHAMP, which indicates whether the respondent was covered by CHAMPUS(TRICARE), VA, or other military health care.

For 1996 and 1997 only, persons who reported being covered by CHAMPUS or CHAMPVA 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