The Effects of Trigger Events on Changes in Children's Health Insurance Coverage. Executive Summary

04/18/2000

Changes in children's health insurance coverage occur with far greater frequency than the modest year-to-year changes in the proportion uninsured or the proportion with different types of coverage would suggest. We present evidence that in the one-year period from July 1993 through June 1994 there were more than 23 million instances of children changing their coverage among major types of insurance or between covered and uninsured--one change for every three children. Understanding the dynamics of health insurance coverage is important in designing effective strategies to cover the uninsured, and for this reason there is a need to look at the factors that may account for the frequent changes in children's coverage. This report uses data from the 1992 Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) to investigate the role of one set of factors--"trigger events" or sudden changes in the economic situation or composition of the family--in bringing about changes in children's health insurance coverage.

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