Introduction Panel 18 and Rounds 1, 2, and 3

Introduction to MEPS


The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey
(MEPS) is a nationally representative survey of health care usage,
expenditures, sources of payment, and health insurance coverage for the U.S.
civilian non-institutionalized population (e.g., not in prisons or nursing homes).

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MEPS has two main components: the
Household and the Insurance. The Household data are collected by questionnaires
sent to each person in the household and their health care providers.  The Household component data include respondents’
demographic and socio-economic characteristics, health status and conditions,
use of health care services, source of payments, access to health care,
satisfaction with services, health insurance coverage, employment, and income. The
Insurance component collects data from a sample of employers on the insurance
plans they provide their employees (also known as the Health Insurance Cost


The MEPS sample is a subsample of
households participated in the previous year’s National Health Interview Survey
(NHIS), which is executed by the National Center for Health Statistics (part of
the CDC). In the MEPS, each year has a new panel of sample households. Then for
each new annual sample, data are gathered through a series of five rounds of computer-assisted
personal interviews over 30 months to yield annual data for two full calendar
years. It should be mentioned that for each MEPS panel Round 3 overlaps two
calendar years.

The broad sampling goals include:

1.      Provide unbiased
national and regional estimates.

Meet targeted precision requirements for policy
relevant subgroups of the population

MEPS-HC sample sizes for years 2014 and 2015:


Number of families

Number of persons









The MEPS-HC full-year consolidated data files contain the
following variables:

Unique person identifiers and survey administration

Demographic variables

Geographic variables

Employment variables

Income and tax filing variables

Disability days indicators

Health insurance variables

Health status variables

Access to care variables

Weight and variance estimation variables

Utilization, expenditure, and source of payment

The data which is provided for the class is 2014 full-year consolidated
data. The file contains 1,838 variables.

These MEPS survey data collected in
Rounds 3, 4, and 5 of Panel 18 and Rounds 1, 2, and 3 of Panel 19, the rounds
for the MEPS panels covering calendar year 2014, and contains variables
pertaining to survey administration, demographics, income, person-level
conditions, health status, disability days, quality of care, employment, health
insurance, and person-level medical care use and expenditures.