Income Data for Policy Analysis: A Comparative Assessment of Eight Surveys. Surveys of Restricted Populations

12/23/2008

Two of the eight surveys focus on restricted populations:  Medicare beneficiaries for the MCBS and persons 51 and older for the HRS. We examine the estimates of income from these surveys in comparison with estimates of income for approximately the same target populations from the three Census Bureau surveys. Because of concerns about the accuracy of reporting of Medicare enrollment for persons under 65 in the national surveys—including, in particular, its confusion with Medicaid—we restricted the MCBS comparisons to elderly beneficiaries. In addition, because the 2002 ACS did not ask respondents to report their Medicare coverage, we defined the comparison population for the national surveys as all elderly persons rather than just those who reported Medicare coverage. We present estimates of income for the elderly first and then turn to the broader population of persons 51 and older.

TABLE IV.36

RATIO OF POINT-IN-TIME TO FULL-YEAR UNINSURED BY AGE AND POVERTY RELATIVE: SIPP, MEPS, AND NHIS
Population and Poverty Relative SIPP MEPS NHIS
All Persons 1.87 1.42 1.50
Poverty Relative
Under 100% 1.73 1.32 1.39
100% to under 200% 1.77 1.39 1.43
200% to under 400% 1.95 1.43 1.63
400% and over 2.50 1.66 1.82
All Children under 18 2.75 1.62 1.89
Poverty Relative
Under 100% 2.83 1.55 1.69
100% to under 200% 2.46 1.71 1.84
200% to under 400% 2.83 1.59 2.21
400% and over 4.02 1.59 2.21
All Adults 18 to 64 1.41 1.16 1.25
Poverty Relative
Under 100% 1.24 1.09 1.11
100% to under 200% 1.31 1.11 1.17
200% to under 400% 1.51 1.15 1.38
400% and over 2.02 1.39 1.62

Source:   Mathematica Policy Research, from tabulations of the 2001 SIPP panel, the 2002 Full-year Consolidated MEPS-HC, and the 2003 NHIS. Note: Poverty and uninsured status refer to calendar year 2002, except for NHIS (the past 12 months).

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