Counting Uninsurance and Means-Tested Coverage in the American Community Survey: A Comparison to the Current Population Survey
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.