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Health insurance plan 4: In whose name is plan

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons in families with at least four private insurance plans, HI4WHO indicates the policy holder (or "whose name the plan is in") for the fourth plan mentioned, in categories of the respondent's own name, someone not in the household, or some other family member.

Data Collection Process

Details about the characteristics of insurance plans (such as HI4WHO) reflect plans for any family member in the household. In order to determine if the person (rather than someone else in the family) was covered by this plan, analysts should use the variable HI4PCOV (Health Insurance Plan 4: Person's Coverage Status), which indicates whether the person was covered by the plan.

Details were collected on four plans per family for 1993 to 1996 and up to five plans per family for 1989.


Users may want to see the related variables HI1WHO through HI5WHO. Likewise, the variables HI1PCOV through HI5PCOV indicate coverage status for each plan.

Related variables

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

Definition of Private Insurance

For 1989, respondents with plans that paid only for accidents or for only one type of service (single service plans) were not considered to have private health insurance, but plans which paid "extra cash" for hospital stays were considered to be health insurance. For 1993 to 1996, single service plans were considered to be a form of health insurance.

The definition, order, and wording of private health insurance changed over time to reflect changes in the availability of different types of coverage and issues of interest. Users are strongly encouraged to review the user notes Insurance Data Collection and Private Insurance Definitions.


Changes in what was considered private coverage reduce comparability for 1989 and 1993 forward. HI4WHO is comparable for 1993 forward.


  • 1989: Persons who covered by 4 private insurance plans that pay any part of a hospital, doctor's, surgeon's or dentist's bill (excluding Medicare or single service plans)
  • 1993: Persons in quarters 3 or 4 covered by 4 private insurance plans (including those that paid for a variety or single service).
  • 1994-1996: Persons covered by 4 private insurance plans (including those that paid for a variety or single service).


  • 1989, 1993-1996