Children's Health Insurance Patterns: A Review of the Literature. c. Undercoverage of the Population


According to the Census Bureau (Bennefield 1995), all demographic surveys, including the CPS and the SIPP, suffer from undercoverage of the population. Undercoverage results from missed housing units in the sampling frame and missed persons within sampled households. The Census Bureau estimated that the overall CPS and SIPP undercoverage rate is about seven percent and that undercoverage varies with age, sex, and race. They reported that for some groups, such as 20 to 24 year old black males, the undercoverage rate is as high as 27 percent. The Census Bureau noted that even though their weighting procedures partially correct for the bias due to undercoverage, the final impact of undercoverage on estimates is unknown. This problem could bias estimates of the uninsured if the groups that are missed in the survey are either disproportionately insured or disproportionately uninsured.