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Single service plan for dental care

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample adults and sample children, SDENTALE reports whether the person has a single service plan for dental care. Prior to 2019, this variable is available for persons covered by a single service plan (SINGLEE).

Respondents were asked what type of single service plan the person had and handed a list with different types of single service insurance coverage. Interviewers instructed them to mark all that applied. Beginning in 2019 all sample adults and sample children were asked if they were covered by a health insurance plan that only pays for dental services.

For 2004-2018, the survey included an additional probe question for all persons who indicated they were not covered by health insurance or did not indicate single service plan coverage. A person who responded to either HISINGLE or SSPROB, single service plan probe response, were asked about the type of service.

For variables indicating other types of single service variables, please see the SINGLEE variable description.


SDENTALE is mostly comparable, however the percent of respondents indicating single service coverage may increase for 2004 as a result of a probe question on whether the person had any single service plan.

Starting in 2019 respondents were specifically asked if they had a plan that only pays for dental services rather than being asked to select the type of single service plan they had from a list.

SDENTALE is not comparable with variables from before 1997, such as responses in HI1TYPE, as responses for SDENTALE reflecting editing by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) based on plan name to ensure accuracy in insurance type. For example, there may be a mismatch between the plan name and the actual type of plan. From 1997 forward, the NCHS reassigned individuals to correct response categories. Users may also want to see the variable description for SINGLE and SDENTALfor more information.

The NHIS questionnaire was substantially redesigned in 2019 to introduce a different data collection structure and new content. For more information on changes in terminology, universes, and data collection methods beginning in 2019, please see the user note.


  • 1999-2018: Persons covered by single service plan.
  • 2019-2022: Sample adults age 18+ and sample children age 0-17.


  • 1999-2022