Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), 1996
Investigators: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

The 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS) is a nationally representative panel survey of the U.S. civilian noninstitutionalized population. The survey was designed to provide nationally representative estimates of health care use, expenditures, sources of payments, and insurance coverage for this population. Begun in 1996, MEPS is an ongoing survey, administered to a new panel each year. MEPS comprises four component surveys. The Household Component is the core survey and collects detailed data on demographic characteristics, health conditions, health status, use of medical care services, charges and payments, access to care, satisfaction with care, health insurance coverage, income, and employment. The 1996 Household Component yields comprehensive data that provide national estimates of the level and distribution of health care use and expenditures for calendar year 1996.

The sampling frame for the 1996 MEPS Household Component is drawn from respondents to the 1995 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). The NHIS employs a multistage stratified random sampling design which provides a nationally representative sample of the U.S. noninstitutionalized population, with oversampling of Hispanics and blacks. For each household included in MEPS, there are five rounds of data collection. Five in-person interviews with one respondent from each household were conducted at 3 to 4 month intervals over a 2 1/2 year period. Data collected during the first three rounds (rounds 1-3) of the 1996 MEPS Household Component serve as the main body of data for calendar year 1996. The dataset contains 1,280 variables collected from 22,601 participants in the 1996 Panel of the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey Household Component.

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