1Abt Associates, Inc. 2National Opinion Research Center—University of Chicago
Objective: To assess the quality of the Current Population Survey’s (CPS) Child Health Insurance Program (CHIP) data. Data Sources: Linked 2000–2004 Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS) and the 2001–2004 CPS. Data Collection Methods: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services provided the Census Bureau with its MSIS file. The Census Bureau linked the MSIS to the CPS data within its secure data analysis facilities. Study Design: We compared responses to the CPS health insurance items with Medicaid and CHIP status according to the MSIS. Principal Findings: CHIP reporting in the CPS is unreliable. Only 10–30 percent of those with CHIP (but not Medicaid) report this type of coverage in the CPS. Many with CHIP report Medicaid coverage, so the reporting error for a Medicaid–CHIP composite is smaller, but still substantial. Conclusions: The quality of the CPS CHIP information renders it effectively unusable for health policy analysis. Analysts should consider using a Medicaid–CHIP composite for CPS-based analyses.
Keywords: Survey Research and Questionnaire Design, Health Care Financing/Insurance/Premiums, Health Policy/Politics/Law, Medicaid