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The Measurement of Medicaid Coverage in the SIPP: Evidence from California, 1990-1996

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  • David Card
  • Andrew K. G. Hildreth
  • Lara D. Shore-Sheppard

Abstract

This paper studies the accuracy of reported Medicaid coverage in the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) using a unique data set formed by matching SIPP survey responses to administrative records from the State of California. Overall, we estimate that the SIPP underestimates Medicaid coverage in the California population by about 10 percent. Among SIPP respondents who can be matched to administrative records, we estimate that the probability someone reports Medicaid coverage in a month when they are actually covered is around 85 percent. The corresponding probability for low-income children is even higher - at least 90 percent. These estimates suggest that the SIPP provides reasonably accurate coverage reports for those who are actually in the Medicaid system. On the other hand, our estimate of the false positive rate (the rate of reported coverage for those who are not covered in the administrative records) is relatively high: 2.5 percent for the sample as a whole, and up to 20 percent for poor children. Some of this is due to errors in the recording of Social Security numbers in the administrative system, rather than to problems in the SIPP.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8514.

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Date of creation: Oct 2001
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Publication status: published as Card, James, Andrew K. G. Hildreth and Lara Shore-Sheppard. “The Measurement of Medicaid Coverage in the SIPP: Evidence from California, 1990-1996." Journal of Business and Economic Statistics 22 (October 2004).
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8514

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  1. Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2005. "Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility on Health Insurance," Department of Economics Working Papers 2005-06, Department of Economics, Williams College.
  2. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Medicaid," NBER Working Papers 7829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    • Jonathan Gruber, 2003. "Medicaid," NBER Chapters, in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 15-78 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Jacob Alex Klerman & Jeanne S. Ringel & Beth Roth, 2005. "Under-Reporting of Medicaid and Welfare in the Current Population Survey," Working Papers 169-3, RAND Corporation Publications Department.
  2. van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2005. "Comment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 154-157, April.
  3. Bruce Meyer & Robert Goerge, 2011. "Errors in Survey Reporting and Imputation and Their Effects on Estimates of Food Stamp Program Participation," Working Papers 11-14, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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