Codes and Frequencies
For persons in families with at least five private insurance plans, HI5SURG indicates if the fifth plan mentioned paid for surgical bills.
Data Collection Process
Details about the characteristics of insurance plans (such as HI5SURG) 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 HI5PCOV (Health Insurance Plan 5: Person's Coverage Status), which indicates whether the person was covered by the plan.
Information was collected on up to five plans per family (six plans in 1983).
Please use the IPUMS NHIS drop-down menus and search function for other related variables.
Definitions of Private Coverage
Private insurance for 1980 to 1989 was indicated by report of coverage by a health insurance plan that pays for any part of a hospital, doctor's, or surgeon's bill (or dentist's bill for 1989 and 1986). Single service plans were not considered a form of health insurance, however; while interviewers explicitly told respondents not to include plans which pay only for accidents, respondents were not told to exclude other single service plans, and plans which paid extra cash for hospitalizations were considered a form of health insurance.
Apart from changes in the survey quarters in which this question was asked, and question wording to exclude single service coverage for 1989, HI5SURG is comparable over time. (Using the prescribed IHIS weights eliminates comparability issues related to survey design.) In 1989, interviewers stated, "Do not include plans that pay for only one type of service, such as nursing home care or accidents." Thus, the survey in 1989 includes more explicit instructions on the exclusion of single service plans. The 1989 Field Representative's Manual noted that such plans were a new and relatively rare form of insurance at the time.
- 1980: Persons covered by private health insurance (excluding plans that paid only for accidents).
- 1982; 1984: Persons covered by private health insurance that pays any part of hospital, doctor's or surgeon's bill (excluding plans that paid only for accidents).
- 1983: Persons in quarters 3 or 4 covered by private health insurance that pays any part of hospital, doctor's or surgeon's bill (excluding plans that paid only for accidents).
- 1986; 1989: Persons covered by private health insurance that pays any part of hospital, doctor's, surgeon's or dentist's bill (excluding plans that pay for one type of service, such as accidents).
- 1980, 1982-1984, 1986, 1989