The first step in the literature review was to develop general criteria for inclusion of studies. These criteria were as follows:
- the analyses had to focus on one of the following: (1) uninsured children -- how many are there, how long are they uninsured, and why are they uninsured; (2) Medicaid eligibility, enrollment, participation rates, program dynamics, and measurement issues; and (3) participation rates of low-income children in related government programs, such as the former Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) and Food Stamps.
- the selected studies had to include empirical data analysis
- the studies had to be recent (since 1990) except for earlier works that were considered seminal
We obtained studies through an automated database search, reference lists from identified articles, the contents of current health policy journals, and the current research reviews in health policy newsletters. For the automated database search, we used the National Library of Medicine's Medical Literature Analysis and Retrieval System (MEDLARS). We also consulted with the ASPE Project Officer and other researchers involved in studying the uninsured to identify additional published and unpublished works. Although we obtained nearly seventy articles that initially met the stated criteria for this review, we limited the total number of articles reviewed by excluding articles that used older data that have since been updated or that simply presented overviews of the work done by other researchers that were already included in the review.