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Plan 1: How insurance obtained

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons who have a private health insurance plan, HIP1HOWGOT indicates how the person's first insurance plan was obtained. See the Comparability tab for additional information about changes to the response categories over time.

For all years respondents were first asked if they are covered by any kind of health insurance or some other kind of health care plan. They were then handed a card listing various types of insurance and asked to pick what kind(s) of plan(s) they had. Those indicating private insurance were then asked the question for HIP1HOWGOT, how the private plan was obtained.


Changes to response categories limit the comparability of this variable over time. In 2011, the categories "Through parents" and "Through relative other than parents" were added after further examination of verbatim responses. In 2015, the response option "Through or the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare" was added. The response categories are the same for 2004-2010, 2011-2014, and 2015-forward.

Prior to 2004, a similar question was asked, but focused explicitly on obtaining plans through the workplace (HI1WORK). HIP1HOWGOT is offered as a separate variable in IPUMS NHIS beginning in 2004, when "through school" was added as a category.


  • 2004-2013; 2014; 2015 2016 2017 2018: Persons with private health insurance.


  • 2004-2018