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Plan 1: Paid paid for by self or family

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons who indicated they have a private insurance plan, this variable indicates whether the first plan was paid for by the person or a family member (living in the household). The text "living in the household" was added to the survey for 2004; for 1997- 2003, the text read "Self or Family." If the respondent was self-employed and obtained coverage through self-employment or professional associations, then they would report coverage under HIP1EMP, employer-sponsored private coverage obtained through the workplace.

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 HIP2SELF, HIP3SELF, and HIP4SELF. The IPUMS NHIS has also created the variable HIPBUYOWNR, available for 1976 forward for years in which survey data is available, which indicates whether the respondent had any private plan purchased directly.


Persons with three or more plans have a "yes" response to the HIPRIVGT2 variable (available for 2004 forward). A very small number of persons 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.

Users should note that the definition and measurement of private health insurance changed over time. For all years HIP1SELF is available, the definition remained consistent. Private insurance generally referred to any type of insurance other than the public programs asked about in the survey, and excluded single service plans or plans which paid only for accidents. Users can review the user note, "Changes in the Definition of Private Insurance" when comparing surveys from before and after 1997.

Data Editing and Recoding

The frequencies provided in HIP1SELF reflect responses that have been edited based on the plan name by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Only respondents verified to have private insurance are included in the data for HIP1SELF. A full description of the editing process used by the NCHS and changes in definition are provided under the variable descriptions for private insurance in HIPRIVATEE; a brief description is provided under the "more" link below.


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. Relevant to HIP1SELF, someone may have mistakenly reported having private insurance when in fact they in did not. These individuals are not included in the frequencies reported in HIP1SELF.


This variable is mostly comparable over time, though there were slight differences in the response categories for 2004 forward, as noted in the variable description. There were slight changes to other responses as well. The category "someone outside the household" used in the 1997 survey was changed to "someone outside the household or community program" in the 1998 survey. From 1999 forward, the term "community program" was separated from "someone outside the household" and moved into a "state or local government or community program" category. For 1999 forward, respondents could also report the category Children's Health Insurance Program, as this became available in 1999.

Information was collected on up to four plans per family; for 2004 forward, only data for plans one and two are publicly available. However, this reduction in the number of plans publicly available does not greatly reduce comparability as very few individuals have more than two private insurance plans. Persons with more than two plans have a "yes" response to the HIPRIVGT2 variable (available for 2004 forward).


  • 1997-2013; 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018: Persons with private health insurance plans.


  • 1997-2018