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Unformatted text preview: 398 The broad goal of the 1997 State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) was to ensure that all poor children have health insur- ance. This goal has met with mixed success. The rate of poor children in the United States who were uninsured decreased from 23 percent in 1996 to 19 percent in 2002, but over 6 million children who were uninsured in 2002 were eli- gible for public insurance (Kaiser Commission on Medicaid Facts 2005). Thus, while SCHIP has benefited many children, its reach should be much broader. The problem of low-income children being uninsured is perplexing because most children begin life with health insurance, owing largely to the expansions of Medicaid for pregnant women and their offspring in the 1980s and 1990s (Amy Davidoff et al. 2003), and they should be able to maintain coverage under either SCHIP or Medicaid. In particular, young children who were born after the enactment of SCHIP should have uninterrupted coverage. A number of individual characteristics and programmatic features associated with public insurance coverage among eligible poor chil- dren have been identified in past research. No study, however, has examined both the effects of the health of adult family members and the health of the child, each of which has been asso- ciated with mothers’ labor supply and public Why Do Poor Children Lose Health Insurance in the SCHIP Era? The Role of Family Health By Anne Carroll, Hope Corman, Kelly Noonan, and Nancy E. Reichman * program participation (e.g., Corman, Noonan, and Reichman 2005; Reichman, Corman, and Noonan 2006) on the child’s insurance status. In this paper, we use data on a recent cohort of infants whose births were covered by public insurance to estimate the effects of the health status of infants and their unmarried parents on whether the children became uninsured by one year of age. Identifying reasons that poor, young children become uninsured is neces- sary for making progress in achieving SCHIP’s broad goal. If some of those reasons are related to health status, they may present unique oppor- tunities for outreach in health care settings. I. Background Numerous risk factors for uninsurance among children in the SCHIP era have been identified. For example, Davidoff et al. (2003) found that compared to publicly insured children, unin- sured children are more likely to have immi- grant parents, to have parents who have not completed high school, to be Hispanic, and to come from two-parent households. They also found that older children and healthy children are more likely to be uninsured than younger and less healthy children. Children’s health insurance coverage is also related to state policies. Children are much more likely to drop out of public insurance when their states have separate Medicaid and SCHIP pro- grams (Benjamin D. Sommers 2005), suggest- ing that administrative hassles play an important role. Rates of child participation in Medicaid are higher in states that have generous eligibility cri-...
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This note was uploaded on 04/04/2011 for the course ECON 3301 taught by Professor Staff during the Spring '08 term at UT Arlington.
- Spring '08