March 26, 2012: SHADAC recently introduced a new concept for analyzing health insurance coverage as it relates to family interrelationships. We call this the health insurance unit, or HIU, and have integrated this into our Data Center estimates and have made the code publicly available for researchers.
We developed the HIU because the definition of "family" or "household" in Census Bureau surveys does not necessarily align with dependent coverage or public program eligibility. In general, the Census Bureau’s definition of family includes all related members of a household. The HIU uses a narrower definition of family that relies on interrelationships within a household. A complete description of the HIU is available in our new issue brief, "Defining ‘Family’ for Studies of Health Insurance Coverage." This link also provides SAS and Stata code for analysts using the Current Population Survey (CPS) or American Community Survey (ACS) to apply the HIU to their own research.
The HIU is an important development as we conduct research to estimate and evaluate the impact of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This dramatic change to the health care system has brought a host of new analysts and researchers into the realm of health services research. While this offers many contributions to the research community, it is also likely to lead to conflicting estimates and assessments. We hope that this HIU definition will help establish a common unit of analysis and lead to consistent and comparative research across major national surveys.
Please join us for a webinar on April 10 (2:00 PM EDT) to discuss the HIU and our recent changes to the Data Center.