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Health insurance plan 3: Plan pays dental services

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons in families with at least three private insurance plans, HI3DENT indicates whether the third plan paid for any dental services other than oral surgery.

In order to determine if the person (rather than someone else in the family) was covered by this plan, analysts should use the variable HI3PCOV (Health Insurance Plan 3: Person's Coverage Status), which indicates whether the person was covered by the plan.

Users are strongly encouraged to review the user notes Insurance Data Collection and Private Insurance Definitions.

Related variables

Please use the IPUMS NHIS drop-down menus and search function for other related variables.

Information was collected on up to five private plans in most years.


Information about dental coverage through the family's private insurance plan(s) may appear in multiple variables: HI1DENT, HI2DENT, HI3DENT, HI4DENT, and HI5DENT. Likewise, the complementary variables HI1PCOV, HI2PCOV, HI3PCOV, HI4PCOV, and HI5PCOV indicate coverage status for the individual under each plan.

Users may prefer to use the constructed variable HIPDENTCOVR, which was created by the IHIS staff and which summarizes dental coverage for each individual across all private insurance plans.


This variable is not fully comparable over time. In 1986, respondents were not explicitly told to exclude single service plans. In contrast, for 1989, respondents were explicitly told to exclude single service plans, and dental coverage had to be part of a comprehensive plan. Thus it is possible that in 1986, persons with single service plans for dental coverage were considered to have private insurance and were included in the universe, whereas for 1989, persons with only single service plans for dental services would have been excluded.


The Field Representative's Manual for 1989 noted that single service plans were a new and relatively rare form of insurance at the time. Surveys prior to 1989 may not have included the explicit instruction to exclude "plans that pay for only one type of service" because such plans were rare.


  • 1986;1989: Persons covered by three private health insurance plans that pays any part of a hospital, doctor's, surgeon's or dentist's bill ((excluding Medicare or single service plans)


  • 1986, 1989