State Estimates of Uninsured Children, January 1998. Final Report.. II. State Estimates

05/17/2000

The sections that follow present ten tabulations for each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. The tables are organized by state. Each table consists of a cross-tabulation of a defined population of children by poverty level and age. The tables utilize six poverty levels:

  • Less than 50 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL)
  • 50 percent to less than 100 percent
  • 100 percent to less than 150 percent
  • 150 percent to less than 200 percent
  • 200 percent to less than 350 percent
  • 350 percent or greater

The four age categories are:

  • Less than 1 year of age (infant)
  • 1 to 5
  • 6 to 12
  • 13 to 18

These age categories match those that the Health Care Financing Administration is using in reports of SCHIP enrollment.

Each table describes a different population or sub population within the state. The first seven tables were produced from the reweighted CPS database. That is, they are model-based estimates. They are dated January 1998 rather than March 1998 because the population estimates that were used as external controls are effectively January 1998 numbers.

  • Table II.A: Model-based Estimates of the Number of Children by Age and Poverty Level, January 1998
  • Table II.B: Model-based Estimates of the Number of Children in January 1998 Who Were Uninsured in the Previous Year
  • Table II.C: Model-based Estimates of the Percent of Children in January 1998 Who Were Uninsured in the Previous Year
  • Table II.D: Model-based Estimates of Simulated Medicaid-Eligible Children, January 1998
  • Table II.E: Model-based Estimates of Simulated Medicaid-Eligible Children in January 1998 Who Were Uninsured in the Previous Year
  • Table II.F: Model-based Estimates of Simulated SCHIP- or Medicaid-eligible Children, January 1998
  • Table II.G: Model-based Estimates of Simulated SCHIP- or Medicaid-eligible Children in January 1998 Who Were Uninsured in the Previous Year

The final three tables are direct sample estimates from the March 1998 survey. They use no other data. They provide counterparts to the first three of the tables listed above and were included so that we could demonstrate on a state-by-state basis how much our borrowing strength methodology has improved our ability to produce usable state-level information. These final three tables are:

  • Table II.H: Direct Sample Estimates of the Number of Children by Age and Poverty Level, March 1998
  • Table II.I: Direct Sample Estimates of the Number of Children in March 1998 Who Were Uninsured in the Previous Year
  • Table II.J: Direct Sample Estimates of the Percent of Children in March 1998 Who Were Uninsured in the Previous Year

These tables are dated March 1998 because the March CPS sample is weighted to population estimates for the month of March.15

We walk through these tables for Alabama to illustrate their interpretation. Table II.A.1 indicates that there were about 1.2 million children in Alabama in January 1998 and provides a breakdown by poverty level and age.16 These estimates indicate, for example, that there were 122,000 children in families with incomes below 50 percent of poverty and that about 33,000 were 13 to 18 years old. Table II.B.1 shows the number of uninsured children, which totaled 195,000. Children in families between 100 and 150 percent of poverty accounted for the largest number of uninsured (47,100) in any poverty class and nearly three times as many as children in families above 350 percent of poverty. Table II.C.1 gives the percentage of children who were uninsured in the previous year. The estimates in this table were prepared by dividing each cell entry in Table II.B.1 by the corresponding cell entry in Table II.A.1. Table II.C.1 indicates, for example, that 19 percent of all Alabama children 13 to 18 years old were uninsured while 38 percent of the 13 to 18 year-olds in families under 50 percent of poverty were uninsured.

Table II.D.1 presents estimates of the number of Alabama children who were simulated to be eligible for Medicaid, without regard to their existing insurance coverage. Very small numbers with family incomes above 200 percent of poverty appear to be eligible, indicating the impact of income disregards that extend eligibility beyond the nominal limits. Table II.E.1 shows how many of these simulated Medicaid-eligible children were uninsured the previous year. Note that none of the children who were simulated to be eligible with family incomes above 200 percent of poverty were uninsured. Table II.F.1 provides estimates of the number of children who were simulated to be eligible for either Medicaid or SCHIP.17 Table II.F.1 shows that about 533,000 Alabama children were simulated to be eligible for either program when existing insurance coverage was ignored while Table II.G.1 shows that only 141,000 of these eligible children were actually uninsured the previous year.

Tables II.H.1, II.I.1, and II.J.1 are direct sample estimates from the CPS, and they correspond in content to Tables II.A.1, II.B.1, and II.C.1. Table II.H.1 shows all children, and it is about 90,000 lower than the total represented in Table II.A.1. The difference is due to our use of population controls that are external to the CPS and that include detail for children under 15.18 While the totals are nearly the same, however, there are striking differences between Tables II.A.1 and II.H.1 in the estimates for combinations of poverty level and age. For example, Table II.A.1 shows almost 7,000 infants below 50 percent of poverty while table II.H.1 shows double that number (and half as many as the number 1 to 5). The differences between Tables II.B.1 and II.I.1, which show the number of uninsured children, are even more dramatic. Table II.I.1 contains several cells for which there were no sample observations whereas Table II.B.1 has no empty cells. The totals are different because our model-based estimate of the uninsured rate in Alabama was higher than the CPS direct sample estimate (see Table I.1). The relative numbers of children in adjacent age categories in Table II.I.1 fluctuate dramatically across poverty levels. For example, there are more than twice as many 13 to 18 year-olds as 6 to 12 year-olds between 100 and 150 percent of poverty but 10 times as many 6 to 12 year-olds as 13 to 18-year olds between 200 and 350 percent of poverty. In Table II.B.1 the relative numbers of children in the two age groups vary little by poverty level until the top category. Finally, the uninsured rates reported in Table II.J.1 show sharp fluctuations across the table and even between adjoining cells whereas those reported in Table II.C.1 are much smoother.