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Twenty Years of Coverage: An Enhanced Current Population Survey -1989 - 2008

Keywords: Health insurance coverage; Current Population Survey; coverage trends; uninsurance

Objective. To create a consistent time series to understand coverage trends by harmonizing 20 years of insurance coverage estimates from the Current Population Survey (CPS) that are an available public resource.

Data Source. 1990–2009 CPS Annual Social and Economic Supplement data.

Study Design. CPS data are enhanced to account for methodological and conceptual changes in health insurance measurement and population control totals.

Principal Findings. The enhancements to the CPS result in an approximately 1 percent reduction in uninsurance rates. Reductions vary over time and by age group. Changes over the last two decades differ slightly using the two data sources. For example, the enhanced data show a greater erosion of private coverage.

Conclusion. The enhanced data provide the most consistent measure of health insurance coverage over the past two decades.

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