Childrens Health Insurance Program Premiums Adversely Affect Enrollment Especially Among Lower-Income Children
Author: Salam Abdus, Julie Hudson, Steven C. Hill, Thomas M. Selden
Both Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which are run by the states and funded by federal and state dollars, offer health insurance coverage for low-income children. Thirty-three states charged premiums for children at some income ranges in CHIP or Medicaid in 2013. Using data from the 1999–2010 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys, we show that the relationship between premiums and coverage varies considerably by income level and by parental access to employer-sponsored insurance. Among children with family incomes above 150 percent of the federal poverty level, a $10 increase in monthly premiums is associated with a 1.6-percentage-point reduction in Medicaid or CHIP coverage. In this income range, the increase in uninsurance may be higher among those children whose parents lack an offer of employer-sponsored insurance than among those whose parents have such an offer. Among children with family incomes of 101–150 percent of poverty, a $10 increase in monthly premiums is associated with a 6.7-percentage-point reduction in Medicaid or CHIP coverage and a 3.3-percentage-point increase in uninsurance. In this income range, the increase in uninsurance is even larger among children whose parents lack offers of employer coverage.