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

05/12/1999

Table 12 presents the distribution of children who were uninsured in October 1992 by their health insurance coverage in each of the next 23 months.(10) As we saw in Table 8, about 9 percent leave the uninsured population in the first month. This exit rate begins declining immediately, dropping to between 2 and 3 percent within four months and to about 1 percent within another four months. By the final months of FY94, the percentage remaining uninsured is declining by less than one percentage point per month (or less than 2 percent of those remaining uninsured). Initially, children who leave uninsurance are about equally likely to enroll in Medicaid and obtain employer- sponsored coverage, but after two months those children who have left uninsurance are increasingly more likely to be covered by employer-sponsored coverage than by Medicaid. For some of the children who end up with employer-sponsored coverage, the path from uninsurance to employer- sponsored coverage may pass through Medicaid. That is, children may leave uninsurance by obtaining Medicaid coverage but then move from Medicaid to employer-sponsored coverage at a later date. We cannot tell from this table the paths that children take. On the other hand, it is quite clear from these data that as long as 23 months after children have left uninsurance, Medicaid remains a much more important source of coverage than it is among all insured children. In September 1994, children who were uninsured in October 1992 are less than one-and-a-half times

TABLE 12: DISTRIBUTION OF CHILDREN WHO WERE UNINSURED 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 Employer- Sponsored Coverage Other Coverage Not in Population Total
0. October 1992 100 0 0 0 0 100
1. November 1992 90.9 4.3 4 0.4 0.5 100
2. December 1992 83.3 7.4 7.9 0.9 0.5 100
3. January 1993 76.3 9.5 11.5 1.7 1 100
4. February 1993 71.4 11.8 13.7 2 1.1 100
5. March 1993 68.8 12.2 15.8 2 1.1 100
6. April 1993 68.4 11.9 16.3 2 1.4 100
7. May 1993 65.8 12.7 18 2 1.5 100
8. June 1993 63.7 13.6 19 2 1.8 100
9. July 1993 64.4 13.5 18.2 2 2 100
10. August 1993 62.7 13.2 20 2.2 2 100
11. September 1993 61.8 13.9 19.7 2.5 2.1 100
12. October 1993 59.6 14.7 20.5 3 2.2 100
13. November 1993 58.9 14.8 20.9 3.3 2.1 100
14. December 1993 59 14.8 20.8 3.1 2.3 100
15. January 1994 58.3 15.2 21 3.2 2.3 100
16. February 1994 58.6 14.4 21.7 2.9 2.4 100
17. March 1994 58.1 14.5 22.2 2.8 2.4 100
18. April 1994 55.9 16.3 22.1 3.3 2.4 100
19. May 1994 55.6 16.1 22.5 3.4 2.5 100
20. June 1994 53.1 17.1 23.4 3.8 2.6 100
21. July 1994 52 17.9 22.9 4.3 3 100
22. August 1994 52.1 17.7 23.6 3.4 3.1 100
23. September 1994 51.5 16.8 24.8 3.7 3.2 100

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

NOTE: The number of children under 19 who were uninsured in October 1992 is 9,489,000.

as likely to have employer-sponsored coverage as Medicaid (24.8 percent versus 16.8 percent of all children who were uninsured in October 1992). Among all insured children in September 1994 who were under 19 and part of the SIPP universe in October 1992, the number covered by employer- sponsored plans is nearly four times the number covered by Medicaid (45.5 million versus 12.3 million).

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