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Keywords:

  • Race;
  • trends;
  • health insurance

Objective. To illustrate methods for comparing race data collected under the 1977 Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB) directive, known as OMB-15, with race data collected under the revised 1997 OMB standard.

Data Sources/Study Setting. Secondary data from the 1993–95 National Health Interview Surveys. Multiple-race responses, available on in-house files, were analyzed.

Study Design. Race-specific estimates of employer-sponsored health insurance were calculated using proposed allocation methods from the OMB. Estimates were calculated overall and for three population subgroups: children, those in households below poverty, and Hispanics.

Principal Findings. Although race distributions varied between the different methods, estimates of employer-sponsored health insurance were similar. Health insurance estimates for the American Indian/Alaska Native group varied the most.

Conclusions. Employer-sponsored health insurance estimates for American Indian/Alaska Natives from data collected under the 1977 OMB directive will not be comparable with estimates from data collected under the 1997 standard. The selection of a method to distribute to the race categories used prior to the 1997 revision will likely have little impact on estimates of employer-sponsored health insurance for other groups. Additional research is needed to determine the effects of these methods for other health service measures.