User Note for 2020 MEPS-IC Private-Sector Tables
The unprecedented pandemic and economic disruption in 2020 have
caused uncertainty in some of the private-sector employment estimates, particularly with respect to the
distribution of employment across firm sizes.
The issue is a concern because offers of health insurance are strongly correlated with firm size.
Consequently, changes in employment may have affected differences in the estimated percentages of
employees offered, and covered by, employer-sponsored health insurance between 2019 and 2020. They also
affect estimates of totals by firm size (e.g., totals of establishments and employees). However, our
initial investigations suggest that the vast majority of means and proportions estimated in the MEPS-IC
data are not affected by this issue.
AHRQ is currently investigating several factors that may have influenced the 2020 MEPS-IC data. These
factors include: (1) when firms of different sizes respond to the survey; (2) openings and closures of
establishments during the survey period; and (3) the role of openings and closures in
multi-establishment firms. AHRQ will provide more information on this site when these investigations are
For information on changes to data collection in 2020 due to the pandemic, see Sample Design of the 2020 MEPS-IC.
For information on 2020 private-sector response, see MEPS-IC response rates