program, generating new requirements for good data on coverage. In addition, several initiatives, such as the secretary of health and human services’ challenge and program management goals, are also creating demand for good coverage estimates.
Chapter 3 discusses the main federal surveys for measuring health insurance coverage for children: CPS, ACS, and NHIS. Two additional surveys are also discussed: the Survey of Income and Program Participation and the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey, Household Component. Administrative databases are also important elements in the measurement of health insurance coverage for children in that they define the population and its characteristics and reflect enrollments. These state-gathered, federally maintained data collections are discussed in Chapter 4.
With primary responsibility for managing the programs, many states have mounted their own data collections for measuring the health insurance coverage of children in their states. These survey-based collections, some of which are quite extensive, are described in Chapter 5.
Chapter 6 introduces a somewhat different approach to estimating coverage, summarizing three presentations on the main modeling strategies for improving estimates using multiple data inputs. Two Census Bureau models are designed to provide reliable data for poverty and health care coverage: the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimation and the Small Area Health Insurance Estimation projects. The chapter also describes another approach, which involves the combination of data from multiple surveys to develop data that are lacking or of insufficient reliability from any single survey.
Chapter 7 summarizes the rich and stimulating discussion by the participants in response to the question: What do we need to know? In this time of change in health care policy, the way ahead is indeed challenging. The participants’ contributions are organized around the broad topics of matching data, gathering data from both public and private sources, rationalizing the ACS and the CPS, and being prepared to assess the impact of the new health care legislation.
Part II consists of six papers that were prepared as background for the workshop. Two appendixes complete the report: Appendix A presents the workshop agenda and list of participants; Appendix B presents biographical sketches of steering committee members.