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The Measurement of Medicaid Coverage in the SIPP: Evidence From a Comparison of Matched Records


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


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. The probability that a SIPP respondent who is covered by Medicaid in a given month correctly reports their coverage is around 85 percent. The corresponding probability for low-income children is higher -- around 90 percent. Under-reporting by those who are actually in the Medicaid system is partially offset by over-reporting of coverage by people who are not. Some of these false positive responses are attributable to errors and missing data in the administrative system, rather than to problems in the SIPP. Taking account of these errors, the estimated false positive rate for the population as a whole is about 1.5 percent, and 4-5 percent for poor children.
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  • David Card & Andrew K.G. Hildreth & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2004. "The Measurement of Medicaid Coverage in the SIPP: Evidence From a Comparison of Matched Records," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 22, pages 410-420, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:bes:jnlbes:v:22:y:2004:p:410-420

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. David Card & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2004. "Using Discontinuous Eligibility Rules to Identify the Effects of the Federal Medicaid Expansions on Low-Income Children," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 752-766, August.
    2. 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.
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    Cited by:

    1. Shore-Sheppard Lara D., 2008. "Stemming the Tide? The Effect of Expanding Medicaid Eligibility On Health Insurance Coverage," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-35, July.
    2. Zhuan Pei, 2017. "Eligibility Recertification and Dynamic Opt-In Incentives in Income-Tested Social Programs: Evidence from Medicaid/CHIP," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 9(1), pages 241-276, February.
    3. Erik Meijer & Lynn A. Karoly, 2014. "Representativeness of the Low-Income Population in the Health and Retirement Study with Supplementary Analyses for 1991 and 1997," Working Papers wp316, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    4. Erik Meijer & Lynn A. Karoly & Pierre-Carl Michaud, 2010. "Using Matched Survey and Administrative Data to Estimate Eligibility for the Medicare Part D Low Income Subsidy Program," Working Papers WR-743, RAND Corporation.
    5. Johnston, David W. & Propper, Carol & Shields, Michael A., 2009. "Comparing subjective and objective measures of health: Evidence from hypertension for the income/health gradient," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(3), pages 540-552, May.
    6. Zhuan Pei & Yi Shen, 2017. "The Devil is in the Tails: Regression Discontinuity Design with Measurement Error in the Assignment Variable," Advances in Econometrics,in: Regression Discontinuity Designs, volume 38, pages 455-502 Emerald Publishing Ltd.
    7. Rosemary Hyson & Alice Zawacki, 2008. "Health-Related Research Using Confidential U.S. Census Bureau Data," Working Papers 08-21, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    8. Bronchetti, Erin Todd, 2014. "Public insurance expansions and the health of immigrant and native children," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 205-219.
    9. Cascio, Elizabeth U., 2005. "School Progression and the Grade Distribution of Students: Evidence from the Current Population Survey," IZA Discussion Papers 1747, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Brachet, Tanguy, 2008. "Maternal Smoking, Misclassification, and Infant Health," MPRA Paper 21466, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    11. Mazzolari, Francesca & Ragusa, Giuseppe, 2012. "Time Limits: The Effects on Welfare Use and Other Consumption-Smoothing Mechanisms," IZA Discussion Papers 6993, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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