Analysis of Children's Health Insurance Patterns: Findings from the SIPP. How Many Children Lack Insurance?

05/12/1999

In the two years from October 1992 through September 1994, between 12.4 and 13.3 percent of children under 19 were reported to have been uninsured at any one time. Over the course of each fiscal year, however, 21.5 percent of children went at least one full month without insurance, and over the two-year period, 27.1 percent--more than one in four children--were uninsured for some period of time. Policymakers tend to focus on the point-in-time estimates, but figures representing periods of a year or more are at least as important because they tell us the full extent to which children are exposed to spells without insurance. Annual data from the Current Population Survey (CPS) suggest that before the widespread implementation of CHIP this exposure was increasing. Indeed, both the number and percentage of children who were without insurance rose after 1995 (Fronstin 1997a, 1997b).

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