Children's Health Insurance Patterns: A Review of the Literature. C. SIPP ESTIMATES OF THE UNINSURED

12/19/1997

The value the SIPP adds to analyses of the uninsured is that it allows researchers to examine the dynamic aspects of the uninsured that are not apparent in the oft-cited point-in-time estimates. For example, Swartz and McBride (1990) pointed out that data collected at a point in time from a population with dynamic movements are more likely to contain people who are in long spells without health insurance even though most people have fairly short spells (this phenomenon is described in more detail below).(11) In short, using point-in-time data to describe the characteristics of the uninsured presents a myopic picture of all individuals who lose health insurance. The SIPP's longitudinal data, though, can answer questions such as:

  • How many are uninsured in at least one month of a given year?
  • How many are uninsured throughout a given year?
  • How do the number of uninsured in a one-year period compare with that of a 2-year or more period?
  • What is the average duration of all spells of uninsurance? How does this compare to the average duration for all those uninsured at a point in time?