Analysis of Children's Health Insurance Patterns: Findings from the SIPP. Endnotes

05/12/1999

1. As a household-based survey, the SIPP also excludes the homeless, although homeless children are included in the population totals to which the SIPP sample weights are controlled. In this sense, then, the homeless are counted in the population estimates that we present, but their characteristics are not represented. If homeless children are more likely to be uninsured or more likely to be enrolled in Medicaid than children in the household population, for example, the frequency of these characteristics in the total population will be understated.

2. While we speak as if the child is the one who gave the responses, the CPS and SIPP collect data on children under 15 from other members of the household.

3. The HCFA(now known as CMS) data are reported for groups of ages, with ages 15 to 20 included in a single category. Since our SIPP estimates apply to children under 19, we had to estimate the proportion of children 15 to 20 who were under 19. We tabulated the March 1994 CPS to obtain the distribution of Medicaid enrollees under age 21 by single year of age, and based on these data we apportioned the HCFA(now known as CMS) count of enrollees 15 to 20 into ages 15 to 18 and ages 19 to 20. States use at least two different conventions for reporting age to HCFA(now known as CMS). States that participate in the Medicaid Statistical Information System (MSIS) and submit electronic case records to HCFA(now known as CMS) assign age as of the end of the fiscal year. States that submit 2082 reports instead of MSIS electronic case records assign age as of the middle of the fiscal year. The latter system classifies about 50 percent more children as infants and reports more persons under any given age than does the first system. (States using the first system may also exclude children born in the final month or two of the fiscal year, according to HCFA(now known as CMS).) Depending on whether a state appeared to have a substantial excess of infants or not, we applied a different algorithm to estimate the number of Medicaid enrollees who were under 19 in each state and then aggregated these to obtain the national numbers shown in Table 2.

4. To obtain the estimated undercount for 1993, we divided the adjusted SIPP estimate of children enrolled in Medicaid in September 1993 by one minus the percentage undercount to obtain the implied total Medicaid enrollment in that month, from which we then subtracted the adjusted SIPP estimate.

5. In assigning insurance coverage each month, we classified a child as enrolled in Medicaid if Medicaid was reported in combination with any other type of coverage.

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