Counting uninsurance and means-tested coverage in the American community survey: A comparison to the current population survey

Michel Boudreaux, Jeanette Y. Ziegenfuss, Peter Graven, Michael Davern, Lynn A. Blewett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To compare health insurance coverage estimates from the American Community Survey (ACS) to the Current Population Survey (CPS-ASEC). Data Sources/Study Setting. The 2008 ACS and CPS-ASEC, 2009. Study Design. We compare age-specific national rates for all coverage types and state-level rates of uninsurance and means-tested coverage. We assess differences using t-tests and p-values, which are reported at <.05, <.01, and <.001. An F-test determines whether differences significantly varied by state. Principal Findings. Despite substantial design differences, we find only modest differences in coverage estimates between the surveys. National direct purchase and state-level means-tested coverage levels for children show the largest differences. Conclusions. We suggest that the ACS is well poised to become a useful tool to health services researchers and policy analysts, but that further study is needed to identify sources of error and to quantify its bias.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-231
Number of pages22
JournalHealth Services Research
Issue number1 PART 1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2011



  • American community survey
  • Health insurance coverage
  • current population survey
  • state health policy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy

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