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Number of private general purpose plans per person

Codes and Frequencies

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For all persons, PHINOP is a recoded variable that reports the number of private health plans the person had. Private insurance plans were defined as health plans that pay for all or part of hospital, doctor or surgeon's bills. Single service plans were included as private insurance for 1993 to 1996.

For related variables, please use the IPUMS NHIS search function and drop-down menus.

The definition, order, and wording of private health insurance changed over time to reflect changes in the availability of different types of coverage and issues of interest. Users are strongly encouraged to review the user notes Insurance Data Collection and Private Insurance Definitions.


Apart from changes in the universe, comparability of PHINOP between 1992 and 1993 forward is limited by exclusion of single service plans in 1992. 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 IHIS weights.

Comparability of PHINOP with the variable PHIHNO (available only in 1976) is also limited due to the explicit inclusion of single service plans for 1993-1996, but for 1976, it is not clear if single service plans were included in the recode for the total number of plans.


  • 1992: All persons.
  • 1993: Persons in quarters 3 or 4.
  • 1994-1996: All persons.


  • 1992-1996