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

05/12/1999

1. Children leave the SIPP population by moving out of the country, becoming institutionalized, moving into military barracks, or dying.

2. Surveys report fewer children enrolled in Medicaid than the statistics compiled by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA(now known as CMS)) indicate. This finding is typical of comparisons between survey data and program administrative statistics for means-tested entitlement programs. Some researchers adjust their estimates of uninsured children to compensate for Medicaid underreporting (Ullman et al. 1998). Others caution that we know too little about the sources of the Medicaid undercount to reliably attribute a large portion of it to children who are misreported as uninsured. In our case, adjusting reported insurance coverage to compensate for a Medicaid undercount was not practical, for the most part, because there is no evidence on how Medicaid underreporting might be correlated with the complex dynamics and the many characteristics we examined. Nevertheless, it is important to recognize when we and other researchers examine Medicaid eligibility among uninsured children that the survey data on which we base our estimates fail to account for all children who are counted in the Medicaid program statistics.

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