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Needs referral for special care for Medicare

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons covered by Medicare (HIMCAREE), MCAREF reports whether the person is required to obtain approval or a referral from a primary doctor to go to a different doctor or seek special care. Interviewers instructed respondents to not include emergency care.

MCAREF reflects responses to a question on what type of insurance the person had which have been edited based on plan names by the NCHS. The frequencies reported in MCAREF reflect individuals correctly assigned to Medicaid coverage, based on the plan name. See the variable description for HIMCAREE for more details.


There are no comparability issues.


  • 1997-2013; 2014: All persons with Medicare who have signed up for Part B coverage or for whom it is unknown whether they have signed up for Part B coverage.


  • 1999-2014