Statement by Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson on Improved Health Insurance Questions in the Current Population Survey

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Statement by Census Bureau Director John H. Thompson on Improved

Health Insurance Questions in the Current Population Survey

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The recent

changes to the Current Population Survey's questions related to health

insurance coverage is the culmination of 14 years of research and two

national tests in 2010 and 2013 clearly showing the revised questions

provide more precise measures of health insurance through improved

respondent recall.

This change was announced in September 2013 and implemented because

the evidence showed that reengineering the questions provides

demonstrably more accurate results. The Census Bureau only implements

changes in survey methodology based on research, testing, and evidence

presented for peer review.

The revised questions were implemented in the Current Population

Survey beginning in February 2014 in time for data collection covering

calendar year 2013, and thus will provide a more accurate baseline for

assessments of changes in insurance coverage, including that of the

Affordable Care Act.

Additional Background

Based on more than a decade of comprehensive research to improve the

measure of the Nation's uninsured population and give the country

better data, the U.S. Census Bureau redesigned the health insurance

coverage questions for the Current Population Survey. The new method

captures current health insurance coverage, in addition to coverage

throughout the entire year. Results from two separate national test

of the new questions in 2010 and 2013 showed that the new method

captured health insurance coverage better than the old method.

Specifically, it improved the respondent recall of when they were

covered by health insurance and then works backwards through time

about specific months of coverage. Based on the test results and 14

years of research, the new questions were included in this the

February, March and April CPS (reflecting the collection of data for

2013). The CPS will act to provide an accurate baseline for 2013 to

facilitate the assessment of the impact of the Affordable Care Act

implemented in 2014.

Additionally, The American Community Survey, the largest household

survey conducted by the Census Bureau, has collected health insurance

coverage information since 2008 and provides additional measure of

health insurance coverage at the nation, state and local levels on an

annual basis. However, unlike the Current Population Survey, the ACS

only asks respondents about a specific point in time.

Published Research

2013 Content Test

Changing the CPS Health Insurance Questions And The Implications On

The Uninsured Rate: Redesign and Production Estimates\_wp\_2014-16.pdf

2010 Survey of Health Insurance and Program Participation

SHADAC Report: SHADAC Analysis of the Survey of Health Insurance and

Program Participation\_final\_report.pdf

Previous Research Leading to the Redesigned Questionnaire

2009: Findings from a Pretest of a New Approach to Measuring Health

Insurance in the Current Population Survey

2007: Measuring Health Insurance in the U.S.

2002: The Effects of Person-Level VS. Household-Level

Questionnaire Design on Survey Estimates and Data Quality

Research Unavailable Online

Pascale, Joanne, Marc I. Roemer and Dean M. Resnick, 2009. Medicaid

Underreporting in the CPS: Results from a Record Check Study. 2010.

Survey Methodology for Public Health Researchers: Selected Readings

from 20 years of Public Opinion Quarterly. Frank J. Fowler Jr. (guest

editor). Online ISSN 1537-5331 - Print ISSN 0033-362X. Also in Public

Opinion Quarterly 2009 73: 497-520.

Pascale, J. (2009). "Health Insurance Measurement: A Synthesis of

Cognitive Testing Results." Paper presented at the Questionnaire

Evaluation Standards (QUEST) meeting, Bergen, Norway.

Pascale, J. (2009). "Survey Measurement of Health Insurance Coverage

Cognitive Testing Results of Experimental Questions on Integrated

Current and Calendar Year Coverage." Unpublished Census Bureau report.

February 3, 2009.

Pascale, Joanne (2008/9). "Assessing Measurement Error in Health

Insurance Reporting: A Qualitative Study of the Current Population

Survey." Inquiry Journal 45(5) Winter 2008/2009 pp 422-437.

Pascale, J. (2007), "Questionnaire Design Experimental Research Survey

(QDERS) 2004 Results Overview." Unpublished Census Bureau report.

August 29, 2007.

Pascale, J. (2006), "Measuring Health Insurance in the U.S."

Proceedings of the American Association for Public Opinion Research

(AAPOR), American Statistical Association, 2006.

Pascale, J. (2004), "Medicaid and Medicare Reporting in Surveys: An

Experiment on Order Effects and Program Definitions." Proceedings of

the American Association for Public Opinion Research (AAPOR), American

Statistical Association.

Pascale, J. (2003) Questionnaire Design Experimental Research Survey

(QDERS) 2004 Cognitive Testing Results on Health Insurance Questions.

Unpublished Census Bureau report. November 5, 2004.

Pascale, J. (2001), "Measuring Private and Public Health Coverage:

Results from a Split-Ballot Experiment on Order Effects." Paper

presented at the 2001 Annual Meetings of the American Association for

Public Opinion Research, Proceedings of the Section on Survey Research

Methods, American Statistical Association, 2001.

Hess, J., J. Moore, J. Pascale, J. Rothgeb, and C. Keeley (2001), "The

Effects of Person-level vs. Household-level Questionnaire Design on

Survey Estimates and Data Quality." Public Opinion Quarterly Winter

2001 65:574-584.

Pascale, J. (1999) "Methodological Issues in Measuring the

Uninsured." Paper presented at the Seventh Health Survey Research

Methods Conference, Proceedings. U.S. Dept. of Health and Human

Services, National Center for Health Statistics. Hyattsville,

Maryland, pp. 167-173.

CB14-67 Public Information Office 301-763-3030 email:

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SOURCE U.S. Census Bureau

-0- 04/15/2014


PRN Photo Desk

/Web Site:

CO: U.S. Census Bureau

ST: District of Columbia




-- DC06342 --

0000 04/15/2014 22:47:00 EDT

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