Complete Description:The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), which began in 1996, is a set of large-scale surveys of families and individuals, their medical providers (doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.), and employers across the United States. MEPS collects data on the specific health services that Americans use, how frequently they use them, the cost of these services, and how they are paid for, as well as data on the cost, scope, and breadth of health insurance held by and available to U.S. workers. MEPS currently has two major components: the Household Component and the Insurance Component. The Household Component provides data from a nationally representative sample of 10,000 – 15,000 families and individuals in selected communities across the United States. The MEPS sample is a nationally representative subsample of households that participated in the prior year's National Health Interview Survey (conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics). During the household interviews, MEPS collects detailed information for each person in the household on the following: demographic characteristics, health conditions, health status, use of medical services, charges and source of payments, access to care, satisfaction with care, health insurance coverage, income, and employment. The panel design of the survey, which features several rounds of interviewing covering two full calendar years, makes it possible to determine how changes in respondents' health status, income, employment, eligibility for public and private insurance coverage, use of services, and payment for care are related. Data are available for the national sample through 2010.