The Effects of Trigger Events on Changes in Children's Health Insurance Coverage. To What Extent Do Parents Change Coverage with Their Children?


Parents mirrored their children's changes in coverage more than half the time. When they did not, the children split about equally between those whose parents kept the coverage that the children exited and those whose parents did not share the same coverage that their children exited. For the most part these patterns are explained by the way in which children obtain their coverage, with ESI and other insurance being obtained via a covered parent and Medicaid becoming increasingly available to children without their parents' participation. What perplexed us most was the finding that among children moving from ESI to Medicaid, two-thirds had parents who retained their ESI. Our earlier findings indicate that half of these transitions from ESI to Medicaid were reversed within four months. Nevertheless, the circumstances surrounding these transitions merit further research.

It was also noteworthy that about one-fifth of the 7.5 million children who lost ESI or Medicaid and became uninsured had parents who reportedly retained their own coverage. These transitions invite additional research as well.

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