c27007, Medicaid / means tested public coverage, what's means-tested

Hi all. 

Table c27007 is "Medicaid / means-tested public coverage".  What exactly is "means-tested"? How do I find what ACS questions went into that table?



  • The questions are here: https://www2.census.gov/programs-surveys/acs/methodology/questionnaires/2022/quest22GQ.pdf  I am not a census expert like others on this forum. But I think Medicaid is publicly covered which is means-tested (you have to qualify). So as usual they make it more complicated than it is. Question 16 asks about Medicaid, that's it.  So they just wanted to highlight what Medicaid is (means-tested public coverage). But Medicaid is Medicaid even with a slightly complicated name.  So, check the questions first and generally you can figure it out. Otherwise, the experts here can help.

  • Hi Tom

    Thanks very much for responding. I was really asking which questions went into constructing table c27007. For example question 16 has parts about various health insurances, so I don't know whether any of the others were used for this table.

  • Yeah, a "means-tested" program is a program for low-income people or low-income households. I think of it this way: do you have means to afford this thing (health care, transit, food, etc.), if yes, you probably don't qualify; if no, there might be a program for you.

    Also, I want to expand on what Tom was saying for Medicaid going by different names. Medicaid is run by the states, and it has all kinds of names. For example, in California, it goes by the name of Medi-Cal. The name Medicaid might not resonate with participants in the Medi-Cal program who are responding to ACS.

    As far as Table C27007, yes, question 16 is used for the Health Insurance part of it. But this table also has breakdowns by sex and by age, so questions 2 and 3 (sex and age/date of birth) also had to be used in order for Census to tabulate the data this way.

  • Diana

    Thanks for responding. Would you know if there is a page on the Census website that says exactly which questions and which parts of the questions went into constructing the ACS tables? So for example, presumably question 16 was used in c27002, but which parts of question 16. All of it, only some of it?


  • Hi Gene, 

    Yes, pages 72 & 73 of the Subject Definitions doc explain all the gory details (which is pretty much why it's my favorite Census Documentation on all of census.gov).

    Here's an excerpt:

    Medicaid comes from 16(d) on the Questionnaire, but also some edits listed on page 72 & 73: "Medicaid or other means-tested public coverage was given to foster children, certain individuals receiving Supplementary Security Income or Public Assistance, and the spouses and children of certain Medicaid beneficiaries." as well as appropriate write-in responses for a "yes" to 16(h).

    As far as public vs. private in C27002: "Respondents reporting a “yes” to the types listed in parts a, b, or e were considered to have private health insurance. Public health coverage includes the federal programs Medicare, Medicaid, and VA Health Care (provided through the Department of Veterans Affairs), as well as the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and individual state health plans. Respondents reporting a “yes” to the types listed in c, d, or f were considered to have public coverage. The health insurance classifications are not mutually exclusive-- people may be covered by more than one at the same time."

    Also keep in mind that any tabulations by sex, by age, by race/ethnicity, by labor force participation, etc. use a combination of multiple questions.

  • Hi Diana

    Thanks very much. This is getting closer to what I'm looking for but not exactly.  "Medicaid or other means-tested public coverage was given to foster children, certain individuals receiving Supplementary Security Income or Public Assistance, and the spouses and children of certain Medicaid beneficiaries."  That's pretty close to answering my question. 

    But Table c27007 is "Medicaid/means tested public coverage". I'm still not clear on what "means tested public coverage" is.

    Is there a doc that says, for example, Table c27007 was constructed using part d of question 16? Part d is "Medicaid, Medical Assistance, or any kind of government-assistance plan for those with low incomes or a disability".

    So I'm looking for a table that says, table c27007 was constructed using table ... part ....

    thanks for your many responses.