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

05/12/1999

Using data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP), this report examines the characteristics of children under the age of 19 by their health insurance status. The report presents findings on broad types of health insurance coverage while focusing in particular on Medicaid eligibility and participation and on children who lack coverage altogether--the uninsured. We include the following demographic characteristics: age, race and Hispanic origin, family composition, metropolitan versus nonmetropolitan residence, and region. We also include three socioeconomic characteristics: family income relative to the federal poverty level, parents' employment, and parents' education.

Section A presents findings with respect to health insurance coverage at a point in time. Section B examines the characteristics of children by Medicaid eligibility and participation. Section C looks at the lack of insurance over time. Section D presents estimates of the annual incidence and duration of uninsurance, Medicaid eligibility, and Medicaid participation by single year of age, utilizing an approach that yields the cleanest possible age differentials. Finally, Section E summarizes our major findings and conclusions.

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