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Child/Adolescent Health

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Most children who enroll in SCHIP still have some type of health insurance a year later

Over three-fourths of children who enroll in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) are still publicly insured a year later (either through SCHIP or Medicaid), while some transition to private insurance coverage, according to a report by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. SCHIP provides health insurance coverage to low-income children whose families earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but lack private coverage.

The report summarizes findings from a Child Health Insurance Research Initiative (CHIRI™) project that studied patterns of insurance coverage for low-income children enrolled in the Kansas and New York SCHIP programs.

The report also found that:

  • 15 percent of Kansas and 4 percent of New York SCHIP enrollees obtained private insurance coverage after leaving SCHIP.
  • Most children who left SCHIP within 1 year of enrollment reverted to their previous type of health insurance (Medicaid or private).
  • SCHIP retention was boosted by a simplified renewal policy, which automatically reenrolled children in SCHIP unless their families submitted reenrollment forms indicating a change affecting their eligibility.
  • Children who disenrolled from SCHIP when their eligibility was redetermined at 1 year were more likely to become uninsured than children who left during their first year of enrollment.

The findings were based on surveys conducted in 2000 and 2001 on new SCHIP enrollees in Kansas and New York. The surveys were conducted shortly after enrollment and again 13 to 15 months later.

The researchers matched survey responses with SCHIP administrative data. For details, go to Do SCHIP Enrollees Stay Insured?, CHIRI Issue Brief #7, at http://www.ahrq.gov/chiri/chiribrf7/chiribrf7.htm.

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