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.
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.
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