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VOLUME 48 | NUMBER 2.1 | APRIL 2013

Comparing Errors in Medicaid Reporting across Surveys: Evidence to Date

Keywords: Medicaid undercount;validation study;survey and administrative data;uninsurance;health insurance coverage

Objective: To synthesize evidence on the accuracy of Medicaid reporting across state and federal surveys.

Data Sources: All available validation studies.

Study Design: Compare results from existing research to understand variation in reporting across surveys.

Data Collection Methods: Synthesize all available studies validating survey reports of Medicaid coverage.

Principal Findings: Across all surveys, reporting some type of insurance coverage is better than reporting Medicaid specifically. Therefore, estimates of uninsurance are less biased than estimates of specific sources of coverage. The CPS stands out as being particularly inaccurate.

Conclusions: Measuring health insurance coverage is prone to some level of error, yet survey overstatements of uninsurance are modest in most surveys. Accounting for all forms of bias is complex. Researchers should consider adjusting estimates of Medicaid and uninsurance in surveys prone to high levels of misreporting.

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