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Has any military health care coverage

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults and sample children (and, prior to 2019, all persons), HIMILANY indicates whether the individual had military health care or coverage through the Department of Veterans' Affairs (VA). For 1986 forward, HIMILANY includes persons who had coverage through TRICARE (or CHAMPUS), CHAMP-VA, or some other military insurance. For 1980 to 1989, HIMILANY also includes respondents who had a disability-related health benefit due to service in the Armed Forces. In addition, for 1980 and 1976, HIMILANY reflects the response "military dependent" to a question about the reason for not having private insurance or Medicare.

HIMILANY relates to any form of military health care coverage (apart from VA disability compensation). This variable is thus broader in scope than HICHAMPANY (which addresses military health coverage through CHAMPUS and CHAMP-VA) and HIMILVA (which refers to health care for military dependents through other programs). It also includes responses for 1980 and 1976 of military coverage as reason for not having any other form of insurance.

For definitions of the various forms of military health coverage, as reported in the NHIS Field Representatives Manuals, see HICHAMPANY.

Users are strongly encouraged to review the user note Insurance Data Collection.

Survey Questions

There were changes over time in how information was collected on military health coverage.

One such change was in the treatment of people who did not have an affirmative response to an opening question about whether they had health insurance.


For 1997 forward, respondents were first asked if they (or anyone in the family) were covered by any kind of health insurance or some other kind of health care plan. For 1997 to 1999, only people who answered this initial question affirmatively have responses in the data to follow-up questions about their kind of health insurance and the details of their coverage; for 1997 to 1999, those who did not answer "yes" are coded NIU (not in universe) for follow-up questions on insurance characteristics. Beginning in 2000, the response "no insurance" was included as a valid response to the initial question. Thus, for 2000 forward, the universe for follow-up questions on insurance coverage type and details was "all persons" (including those with an affirmative response to HINONE or "no insurance").

The wording of questions relating to military health coverage also changed.


Respondents were asked, "Which of these statements describes why -- is not covered by any health insurance (or Medicare)? Those who responded "Military dependent, (CHAMPUS), veterans' benefits" were considered to be covered by military health care.

1982, 1984 1986, 1989
Interviewers asked about each of several types of military health care, including benefits from the Armed Forces or Veterans' Administration (1989), receipt of military retirement payments from any branch of the Armed Forces or a pension from the Veterans' Administration (excluding VA disability compensation), coverage by CHAMPUS (1986 and 1989), and coverage by CHAMP-VA or any other type of coverage for military dependents or survivors of military persons. They also asked whether the person had a disability related to military service and, if so, whether he or she received compensation from the Veterans' Administration.

Interviewers asked whether anyone in the family was covered by military health care, CHAMPUS, CHAMPVA, or the VA.

1993 to 1996
Interviewers asked about coverage in the previous month by military health care, including armed forces retirement benefits, the VA, CHAMPUS or TRICARE (in 1995 and 1996), or CHAMP-VA. Follow-up questions clarified whether the care was via CHAMPUS, CHAMP-VA, or any other military health care.

1997 forward
Interviewers first asked, "Are you covered by health insurance or some other kind of health care plan?" If the response was affirmative, they asked, "What kind of health insurance or health care coverage do you have?" Respondents selected the appropriate response(s) from a flashcard listing the following types of insurance coverage:

  • Private health insurance (2004 forward)
  • Private health insurance plan from employer or workplace (1997-2003)
  • Private health insurance plan purchased directly (1997-2003)
  • Private health insurance plan through a State or local government program or community program (1998-2003)
  • Medicare (1997 forward)
  • Medi-Gap (1997 forward)
  • Medicaid (1997 forward)
  • CHIP (Children's Health Insurance Program) (1999 forward)
  • Military Health Care/VA (1997-2003)
  • Military Health Care (CHAMPUS/TRICARE/CHAMP-VA) (1997-2018)
  • Military related health care: TRICARE (CHAMPUS)/VA health care/CHAMP-VA (2019 forward)
  • Indian Health Service (1997 forward)
  • State-sponsored health plan (1997 forward)
  • Other government program (1997 forward)
  • Single Service Plan (e.g., dental, vision, prescriptions) (1999-2018)
  • No coverage of any type (2000 forward)

Respondents could pick more than one type of insurance, and interviewers were instructed to mark all that applied.


The comparability of HIMILANY is limited somewhat by universe changes, shifts in the reference period (current coverage for most years, but coverage during the previous month for 1993-1996), and modifications of question wording (as specified in the variable description).

Users are strongly encouraged to review the user note Insurance Data Collection.

HIMILANY is not comparable with the related variable HIMILITE, which was back-edited to correct misreporting in the type of insurance coverage.

Back-editing of insurance variables based on reported plan names was instituted in 1997. Because HIMILANY covers a longer time period, the data used to create this variable were not back-edited. Researchers considering military health care coverage both before and after 1997 can employ HIMILANY, but they should be aware that some survey participants will be misclassified in terms of insurance type.

The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 1976: Persons not covered by Medicaid, Medicare, or health insurance that paid for any part of hospital, doctor or surgeon's bill (or who only had a health insurance plan that paid for accidents).
  • 1980: Persons not covered by Medicare or health insurance that paid for any part of hospital, doctor, or surgeon's bill (or who only had a health insurance plan that paid for accidents).
  • 1982; 1984; 1986: All persons.
  • 1983; 1993: Persons in quarters 3 and 4.
  • 1989-1992: All persons.
  • 1994-1996: All persons.
  • 1997-1999: Persons covered by some type of health care plan.
  • 2000-2018: All persons.
  • 2019-2022: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 0-17.


  • 1976, 1980, 1982-1984, 1986, 1989-2022


  • 1976, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1989-1992, 1994-2018 : PERWEIGHT
  • 1983, 1993, 2019-2022 : SAMPWEIGHT