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Has Medicare coverage for surgical bills

Codes and Frequencies

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For persons age 65 and over, SURGMCAR reports if the person had Medicare coverage for surgeon's bill. All persons over age 65 were eligible for Medicare Part A, which covers hospital bills. Persons could pay a monthly fee (about $4.00) to receive coverage for physician (doctors and surgeons) services (Part B). Interviewers asked to see the person's Medicare card to verify coverage type.

In 1965, Congress chose Blue Cross Blue Shield to administer the Medicare program.

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

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


SURGMCAR has no comparability issues.


  • 1974: Persons age 65+.


  • 1974