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How did the questionnaire change affect health insurance estimates?

Working Paper Number SEHSD-2019-27
Brett O'Hara and Laryssa Mykyta

Background. In 2018, the Census Bureau fielded a Split-Panel Test of the Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement (CPS ASEC). One panel included the traditional health insurance questions (asked prior to the 2014 CPS ASEC), and the other panel included the redesigned questions (asked in the 2014 CPS ASEC and beyond).

Objective. To estimate differences in the uninsured rates due to previous changes in the health insurance questions for calendar year 2017.
Data and Methods. There were approximately 100,000 addresses in the 2018 CPS ASEC sample; a sub-sample of about 5,000 addresses were randomly assigned to be eligible to receive the traditional health insurance and income questions (i.e. pre-2014 CPS ASEC questionnaire). The remaining sample (about 95,000 addresses) were eligible to receive the set of the redesigned health insurance questions.   


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