Analysis of Children's Health Insurance Patterns: Findings from the SIPP. b. Medicaid-eligible Uninsurance

05/12/1999

Table 13 reports the distribution of children who were uninsured and eligible for Medicaid in October 1992 by their health insurance coverage in each of the next 23 months. Within one month, more than 20 percent of the children who were Medicaid-eligible and uninsured had changed to another coverage status. About 7 percent remained uninsured but were no longer eligible for Medicaid while a comparable percentage had enrolled in Medicaid. Just over 5 percent had employer-sponsored coverage while only .2 percent had other coverage. About .6 percent had left the population. After two months, the percentage remaining Medicaid-eligible and uninsured had dropped to under 65 percent, and within seven or eight months it had reached 40 percent. After 23 months, only 26 percent of the original population of children who were Medicaid-eligible and uninsured at the outset remained part of that population. Note, however, that 21 percent of the original population were still uninsured. Comparing Tables 13 and 12, we see that the Medicaid- eligible uninsured were only slightly more likely to have left the state of uninsurance than all uninsured: 52.5 percent versus 48.5 percent. Even so, Medicaid remained the dominant source of coverage among those who left uninsurance, accounting for 27 percent of the original population compared to 18 percent with employer-sponsored coverage. This represents a reversal of the relative importance of these two sources of coverage among all children who were uninsured in October 1992.

TABLE 13: DISTRIBUTION OF UNINSURED CHILDREN ELIGIBLE FOR MEDICAID IN OCTOBER 1992 BY HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE IN EACH OF NEXT 23 MONTHS
  Health Insurance Coverage in Calendar Month
Reference Month
and Calendar Month
Uninsured Medicaid- Eligible Uninsured Not Medicaid- Eligible Medicaid Employer- Sponsored Coverage Other Coverage Not in
Population
 
Total
 
0. October 1992 100 0 0 0 0 0 100
1. November 1992 79.5 7 7.4 5.3 0.2 0.6 100
2. December 1992 64.7 15.3 12.3 6.9 0.2 0.6 100
3. January 1993 61.6 13.4 14.8 9.3 0.2 0.9 100
4. February 1993 51.2 15.6 21.2 10.1 1.1 0.9 100
5. March 1993 47.2 16.3 22.9 12 0.7 0.9 100
6. April 1993 44.1 16.8 22.4 13.4 1.5 1.8 100
7. May 1993 42 18.1 22.1 14.3 1.5 2 100
8. June 1993 38 20 24.3 13.9 1.4 2.4 100
9. July 1993 38.2 21.2 24.2 11.6 1.8 3 100
10. August 1993 41.5 17.9 21.9 13.8 1.9 3 100
11. September 1993 40.1 19.1 22.5 12.4 2.3 3.6 100
12. October 1993 37.7 20 23.1 13.3 2.1 3.8 100
13. November 1993 41.2 15.8 22.3 14.9 2.2 3.6 100
14. December 1993 35.9 21 22.1 14.7 2.2 4 100
15. January 1994 36.6 16.8 23.1 16.9 2.5 4 100
16. February 1994 38 16.3 21.9 17.2 2.4 4 100
17. March 1994 34.4 18.6 23.2 17.6 2.2 4 100
18. April 1994 35 16.2 26.6 16.3 1.9 4 100
19. May 1994 34.4 17.2 25.8 16.8 1.6 4 100
20. June 1994 30.9 19 26.7 17.5 1.7 4.2 100
21. July 1994 31.1 19.1 26.4 16.6 2 4.7 100
22. August 1994 28.6 18.6 28.1 18.3 1.5 4.9 100
23. September 1994 26.3 21.2 26.9 18.2 2.5 4.9 100

SOURCE: Survey of Income and Program Participation, 1992 Panel.

NOTE: The number of children under 19 who were uninsured but eligible for Medicaid in October 1992 is 

To highlight the impact of Medicaid eligibility, Table 14 presents the distribution of children who were uninsured but not eligible for Medicaid in October 1992 by their health insurance coverage in each of the next 23 months. These children left uninsurance somewhat more slowly than those who were initially eligible for Medicaid. After one month, 86 percent remained uninsured and not eligible for Medicaid while another 6.5 percent had gained Medicaid eligibility but remained uninsured. About 3 percent had enrolled in Medicaid and another 3 percent had obtained employer- sponsored coverage. These figures imply a Medicaid participation rate of about one third for children who are uninsured and newly eligible for Medicaid. Within a few months the Medicaid eligible are evenly split between those participating and those not participating in Medicaid. Toward the end of the 23-month period, the Medicaid participants are between one-and-a-half and two times the number of Medicaid-eligible nonparticipants, implying a Medicaid participation rate in excess of 60 percent.

Within four months of October 1992, children who have left the uninsured population are twice as likely to be covered by an employer-sponsored plan as Medicaid. This relative importance of the two sources of coverage among children who started out as uninsured and not eligible for Medicaid persists through September 1994.

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