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March 6, 1996


Author Affiliations

Harvard Medical School Cambridge, Mass

JAMA. 1996;275(9):683. doi:10.1001/jama.1996.03530330027016

To the Editor.  —Dr Mirvis and colleagues1 claim that TennCare, Tennessee's managed care Medicaid program, has "increased the percentage of Tennesseans younger than 65 with health insurance from 89% in 1993 to 95% in 1994—the highest of any state." These figures are at odds with data from the US Census Bureau's March 1995 and 1994 Current Population Surveys (CPSs).2 Each March, the Census Bureau surveys about 130 000 people representative of the noninstitutionalized US population to ascertain their health insurance, employment, and income during the preceding calendar year. In analyzing this data set, we considered individuals insured if they reported health coverage under any public or private program. We used the March CPS Final Weight, a multiplier provided by the Census Bureau, to calculate uninsurance rates for each state. Based on the CPS data, 88.8% of Tennesseans younger than age 65 were insured in 1994, up from 85.3%