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Reasons for no insurance: Coverage through Medicare

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons who did not have private health insurance coverage or Medicare, this variable indicates the person did not have private insurance because they were covered through Medicare. In 1976, only individuals age 65 and older were asked a direct question about Medicare coverage (HIMCARE). Persons under age 65 with Medicare could indicate such coverage through a question on the reasons for no insurance. Respondents were handed a card which listed reasons or could specify "other", and were asked to pick all that applied.

Persons may have had coverage through other public programs, such as Medicaid or military health care. This is because coverage through these programs was not asked about until later in the survey. Coverage refers to at the time of the survey.

In 1976, private health insurance was defined as a health insurance plan which pays any part of a hospital, doctor's, or surgeon's bill and it excluded plans which pay only for accidents.


There are no comparability problems with HINORMCARE.
Users should not compare this variable with variables for reasons for no insurance for 1997 forward.


Because persons in the universe for HINORMCARE may have had coverage through other programs, HINORMCARE is not comparable directly with variables for 1997 forward.

In addition, for 1997 forward, the NCHS began editing the insurance coverage variables to ensure accuracy. (See variable description for HINOTCOVE, for example. Often, respondents misclassified the type of insurance they had. This might be shown, for example, by a mismatch between the verbatim name of an insurance plan and the type of insurance coverage the person selected from the categories on the card. The variables for 1997 forward reflect editing that verified the respondent's coverage status. For 1997, only persons without coverage for less than 3 years received the question on reason for no insurance.


  • 1976: Persons not covered by Medicare or Medicaid or by private health insurance for hospital, surgeon or doctor's bills.


  • 1976