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Loss of health insurance coverage through layoff/job loss in family

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons who lost their job, or who were in a family in which someone lost their job, this variable indicates if the respondent lost health insurance coverage that was covered through the job.

Note that this variable does not indicate that the person lacked any health insurance coverage. Respondents were subsequently asked if they were covered by any other type of insurance, and any public health insurance programs (such as Medicaid or military health care).


Apart from changes in the universe, there are no comparability issues. Changes in survey design (e.g., quarters in which the supplement was collected) may affect raw frequencies, but do not affect comparability of the variable. As always, data users should use the prescribed IPUMS NHIS weights.

LAIDOFLOSHI is not directly comparable with HINORUNEMP, (1976, 1980, 1982-1984, 1986, 1989, 1993 to 1996) which indicates unemployment as the reason for no health insurance at the time of the survey (or in the previous month for 1993 to 1996). For 1983 to 1989, both of these variables indicate a lack of coverage through private, employer sponsored health insurance at some point in time, and respondents may have had insurance through public programs (such as Medicaid, other public assistance or military health care). However, LAIDOFLOSHI indicates whether the respondent lost coverage in the past 12 months, not necessarily that they currently did not have any other coverage. Respondents who answered HINORUNEMP lacked coverage through any private insurance or Medicare at the time of the survey.

This variable is also not directly comparable with the IHIS recode "01", lost job or changed employer in the variable HINOLAPYREA, main reason for any time without health insurance in the past 12 months (1993 to 1996). Importantly, HINOLAPYREA variable indicates specifically that the person was without any insurance, including public programs, and the question was asked of all persons, not only those who lost their job.

Lastly, LAIDOFLOSHI is also not directly comparable with HISTOP1, coverage stopped due to a job loss or change in employment (1997 forward). Like HINOLAPREA, HISTOP1 variable is also asked for all those without any health insurance at the time of the survey; respondents with single service plans were considered to be without health insurance.


  • 1983: Persons in quarters 3 and 4 who are related household members of a respondent who had been laid off or lost a job in the past 12 months.
  • 1984; 1986; 1989: Persons who are related household members of a respondent who had been laid off or lost a job in the past 12 months.


  • 1983-1984, 1986, 1989