SCHIP Evaluation. Special Studies

12/14/2001

In an effort to examine topical questions that complement the large-scale evaluation but are not its primary focus, ASPE will fund smaller special studies on an ongoing basis. Issues currently being addressed through the special studies are access to SCHIP in rural areas and states’ experiences with using SCHIP funds to cover parents of Medicaid and SCHIP eligible children. Other relevant topics will be selected throughout the course of the large evaluation.

Family Coverage

Recent research indicates that expanding health insurance coverage to the parents of children who eligible for public health insurance programs but not enrolled reduces not only the number of uninsured adults, but also the number of uninsured children. ASPE seeks to build on the existing body of research by examining the experiences of three states that have implemented family coverage as part of their SCHIP plans.

This project uses a case study approach to investigate the family coverage expansions in New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. Among the issues to be explored are: the states’ reasons for expanding coverage to parents; the environment in which the program was adopted; policies and rules governing family coverage in these states; operational challenges; interactions with the private market; and any unanticipated consequences of these expansions. In-person interviews will be conducted with state and local health officials, health plans and providers, employers, and stakeholder groups. ASPE expects that this study will provide important information and lessons about the design, implementation, and refinement of these family coverage expansions. Findings from the study will be incorporated into ASPE’s report to Congress in early 2003 and will be shared widely with the states considering family coverage expansions.

Rural Issues

ASPE is conducting a study of important issues in rural states that will complement the ten-state SCHIP evaluation. This study is concerned with SCHIP outreach, enrollment, and provider participation in three rural states. The researchers will examine how states have designed both their outreach campaigns to target rural and frontier areas and their SCHIP application and enrollment processes. Additionally, the researchers will assess provider participation in SCHIP and examine barriers to participation. In-person interviews will be conducted with state and local health officials, outreach and eligibility workers, representatives from state Offices of Rural Health, providers, health plans, and advocates. This study will provide information about rural states’ outreach initiatives, eligibility processes and relationships with providers. Findings will be incorporated into ASPE’s first report to Congress due in early 2003.