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Frequently Asked Questions

Does the Census Bureau collect health insurance data from health insurance providers?

Health insurance data are collected from people (health insurance consumers) in the Annual Social and Economic Supplement (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS), and in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP). Reports and tables for the nation and states are available from the CPS. Only national estimates are available from the SIPP prior to the 2004 Panel. Both the CPS and SIPP surveys produce public-use data sets allowing users to tabulate the data themselves. While the Census Bureau does not publish data based on information collected from health insurance providers, it does collect employer health insurance data annually for the insurance component of the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey, an annual survey conducted for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). For more information, visit the Medical Expenditures Panel Survey Web site.

How many years of health insurance data are available for each survey?

The Census Bureau began collecting health insurance data on the Current Population Survey in 1987. Collection of health insurance data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation began in 1984. The American Community Survey began collecting data in 2008.

Do you have statistics on health costs and health service utilization?

The Medical Expenses and Utilization of Health Care (Adults and Children) Topical Module of the Survey of Income and Program Participation collects information on health costs and health service utilization. The Census Bureau does not regularly produce tables or reports based on this information; however, the data are available for download at the SIPP Web site. A good source outside of the Census Bureau for this data is the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. It oversees the Healthcare Cost and Utilization Project (HCUP).

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Health Insurance |  Last Revised: April 02, 2012