Codes and Frequencies
For persons who have a private insurance plan, this variable indicates that the person's first plan was paid for by their employer or union. This category includes persons who were self-employed and obtained coverage through self-employment or professional associations.
The IPUMS NHIS has also created the variable HIPEMPAYR, available for 1989 forward for years in which survey data is available, which indicates whether the respondent had any private plan paid for by the employer.
Please use the IHIS drop down menu and search functions for other related variables.
Information was collected on up to four plans per family; for 2004 forward, only data for plans one and two are publicly available. Users may also want to see the related variables HIP2EMP, HIP3EMP, and HIP4EMP.
Persons with three or more plans have a "yes" response to the HIPRIVGT2 variable (available for 2004 forward). Very few people (less than 0.2 percent of the total number of individuals with private health insurance per year for 2004 to 2009) have more than two private insurance plans. Additional information for the third and fourth plans for a person is available through a Data Research Center. See the 2004 Survey Description document available on the NHIS website for more information.
For all years, HIP1EMP is available, the definition of private insurance coverage remained relatively consistent and excluded single service plans or plans which paid only for accidents. However, the definition, order, and wording of private health insurance changed over time. Users are strongly encouraged to review the user note Private Insurance Definitions.
Data Editing and Recoding
For 1997 forward, HIP1EMP reflects responses that have been edited by the NCHS based on plan name. Only respondents verified to have private insurance are included in the data for HIP1EMP. A full description of the editing process and changes in definition is provided under the variable descriptions for private insurance in HIPRIVATEE; a brief description is provided under the "more" link below.
To clarify, during the course of data editing, the NCHS discovered errors in the responses to questions about insurance coverage. 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 NCHS created a series of recoded insurance variables, which are edited to correct for respondents mistakes of insurance information. The NCHS strongly advises analysts to use these recoded insurance variables as a more reliable source of information about the types of insurance coverage than is provided by respondents' original and unedited answers about their insurance type.
This variable is mostly comparable over time. In 1989, this question was asked only of respondents with private health insurance who indicated the plan was obtained though an employer or union. The question wording was also different in 1989 than from 1997 forward. Respondents were asked, "Does the employer or union pay for any part of the cost for this (name) plan?" whereas for 1997 forward, respondents were asked a more general question, "Who pays for this plan?"
For 1997 forward, response categories for who paid for the plan changed over time, as new types of insurance programs became available. For all years, the categories of self or family (living in the household), employer or union, someone outside the household, Medicare, and Medicaid were available. For 1999 forward, respondents could report the category Children's Health Insurance Program. From 1998 forward, the category, "state or local government or community program" was used in place of the 1997 category of "government program."
- 1989: Persons who were covered by a private health insurance plan that pays any part of a hospital, doctor or dental bill.
- 1997-2018: Persons with private health insurance plans.
- 1989, 1997-2018
- 1989, 1997-2018 : PERWEIGHT