Analysis of Children's Health Insurance Patterns: Findings from the SIPP. 2. Medicaid Participation

05/12/1999

Table 27 presents statistics on reported Medicaid coverage or participation by single year of age. Among all children, 24.2 percent were ever covered by Medicaid during the year. Those who were ever covered were covered for an average of over 9 months, and 55.1 percent were covered for the entire year. Among all children the percentage covered for all 12 months was 13.3 percent.

There is a steep age gradient in Medicaid participation, but it does not show the clear break between ages 9 and 10 that we see in the tabulations of simulated eligibility. Participation is highest among infants, with 39 percent ever covered during the year. Infants with coverage are enrolled for an average of more than 10 months of their infancy, with about 64 percent of this group or 25 percent of all infants covered for the entire year.14 The percentage of children ever covered during the year drops to 35 percent for ages one and two and then falls to between 28 and 30 percent through age six. From about 25 percent at age nine the proportion ever covered during the year descends to 21 percent at age 10, then declines gradually to 19 percent by age 14, drops to 15 percent by age 16, rises to 19 percent, and then plunges to 12 percent at age 18.

Among children ever covered by Medicaid, both the average number of months of coverage during the year and the percentage covered for all 12 months decline with age. The average number of months of coverage drops from 10.3 months for infants to 8 months by age 18. The percentage of children covered for all 12 months falls from 64 percent among infants to 33 percent at age 18. Among all children, the percentage covered by Medicaid for all 12 months of the year shows an even more dramatic decline, from 25 percent among infants to just 4 percent among 18-year-olds.

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