Data Dictionary: ACS 2008 (1-Year Estimates)
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Data Source: U.S. Census Bureau
Table: B27001. Health Insurance Coverage Status By Age For The Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population [10]
Universe: Civilian noninstitutionalized population
Table Details
B27001. Health Insurance Coverage Status By Age For The Civilian Noninstitutionalized Population
Universe: Civilian noninstitutionalized population
Relevant Documentation:
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Health Insurance Coverage
In 2008, the American Community Survey began asking about current health insurance coverage. Data on health insurance coverage were derived from answers to Question 15, which was asked of all respondents. Respondents were instructed to report their current coverage and to mark "yes" or "no" for each of the eight types listed (labeled as parts 15a to 15h).

a. Insurance through a current or former employer or union (of this person or another family member)
b. Insurance purchased directly from an insurance company (by this person or another family member)
c. Medicare, for people 65 and older, or people with certain disabilities
d. Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or any kind of government-assistance plan for those with low incomes or a disability
e. TRICARE or other military health care
f. VA (including those who have ever used or enrolled for VA health care)
g. Indian Health Service
h. Any other type of health insurance or health coverage plan

During the editing process, write-in answers describing or naming the type of other health insurance or health coverage plan in part h were classified into one of the first seven categories. Hence, only the first seven types of health coverage are part of the microdata file. All write-in responses were classified using an automated computer system. This automated procedure compared write-in responses with a master computer code list and then assigned a code to each write-in response. The computerized matching assured that identical alphabetic entries received the same code. Clerical coding categorized any write-in responses that did not match the computer dictionary. The computer dictionary was then updated with the results of the clerical coding. A computer edit was used for the following types of write-in responses: the type of coverage could not be determined, but coverage by a family member was indicated; coverage was indicated, but a determination between private and public could not be made; and responses of "no coverage." If the write-in could not be coded to one of the coverage types or assigned with the computer edit, or was determined to not be coverage (i.e. dental or vision), the write-in was treated as blank.

People were considered insured if they were reported to have at least one "yes" to Questions 15a to 15f. People who had no reported health coverage or those whose only health coverage was Indian Health Service were considered uninsured.

For reporting purposes, the Census Bureau broadly classifies health insurance coverage as private coverage or public coverage. Private health insurance is a plan provided through an employer or union; a plan purchased by an individual from a private company; or TRICARE or other military health care. Respondents reporting a "yes" to the types listed in parts a, b, or e were considered to have private health insurance. Public health coverage includes the federal programs Medicare, Medicaid, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA); the State Childrens Health Insurance Program (SCHIP); and individual state health plans. Respondents reporting a "yes" to the types listed in c, d, or f were considered to have public health coverage. The types of health insurance are not mutually exclusive; people may be covered by more than one at the same time.

Limitation of the Data
Health insurance coverage is a new question on the 2008 American Community Survey. Hence the limitations are not fully known. However, the 2006 Content Test of the American Community Survey provides useful information. The evaluation of that test data demonstrated the viability of asking questions on health insurance coverage in the ACS. See "2006 American Community Survey Content Test Report P.8: Evaluation Report Covering Health Insurance" (www.census.gov/acs/www/AdvMeth/content_test/P8_Health_Insurance.pdf). For consistency with other surveys describing the health insurance status of the population, the universe for most health insurance data tabulations is the civilian noninstitutionalized population. Because some types of group quarters populations may have health insurance coverage distributions that are different from the household population, the distributions in the published tables may differ slightly from how they would look if the total population were represented.
Excerpt from: Social Explorer; U.S. Census Bureau; American Community Survey 2008 Summary File: Technical Documentation.
 
Age
The data on age were derived from answers to Question 4. The age classification is based on the age of the person in complete years at the time of interview. Both age and date of birth are used in combination to calculate the most accurate age at the time of the interview. Inconsistently reported and missing values are assigned or imputed based on the values of other variables for that person, from other people in the household, or from people in other households ("hot deck" imputation). Data on age are used to determine the applicability of other questions for a particular individual and to classify other characteristics in tabulations. Age data are needed to interpret most social and economic characteristics used to plan and analyze programs and policies. Therefore, age data are tabulated by many different age groupings, such as 5-year age groups.
Median Age
The median age is the age that divides the population into two equal-size groups. Half of the population is older than the median age and half is younger. Median age is based on a standard distribution of the population by single years of age and is shown to
the nearest tenth of a year. (See the sections on "Standard Distributions" and "Medians" under "Derived Measures.")
Age Dependency Ratio
The age dependency ratio is derived by dividing the combined under-18 and 65-and-over populations by the 18-to-64 population and multiplying by 100.
Old-Age Dependency Ratio
The old-age dependency ratio is derived by dividing the population 65 years and over by the 18-to-64 population and multiplying by 100.
Child Dependency Ratio
The child dependency ratio is derived by dividing the population under 18 years by the 18-to-64 population, and multiplying by 100.
Limitation of the Data
Caution should be taken when comparing population in age groups across time. The entire population continually ages into older age groups over time and babies fill in the youngest age group. Therefore, the population of a certain age is made up of a completely different group of people in 2000 and 2008. Since populations occasionally experience booms/increases and busts/decreases in births, deaths, or migration (for example, the postwar Baby Boom from 1946-1964), one should not necessarily expect that the population in an age group in Census 2000 should be similar in size or proportion to the population in the same age group in the 2008 ACS. For example, Baby Boomers were age 36 to 54 in Census 2000 while they were age 44 to 62 in the 2008 ACS. Therefore, the age group 55 to 59 would show a considerable increase in population when comparing Census 2000 data with the 2008 ACS data. Beginning in 2006, the population in group quarters (GQ) is included in the ACS. Some types of GQ populations have age distributions that are very different from the household population. The inclusion of the GQ population could therefore have a noticeable impact on the age distribution. This is particularly true for areas with a substantial GQ population.
Question/Concept History
The 1996-2002 American Community Survey question asked for month, day, and year of birth before age. Since 2003, the American Community Survey question asked for age, followed by month, day, and year of birth. In 2008, an additional instruction was provided with the age and date of birth question on the American Community Survey questionnaire to report babies as age 0 when the child was less than 1 year old. The addition of this instruction occurred after 2005 National Census Test results indicated increased accuracy of age reporting for babies less than one year old.