Factors Associated With Health Insurance Coverage for Low-Income Children

What factors impede enrollment into Medicaid by children who are eligible based on their family’s income level? Using data from the Community Tracking Study Household Survey, state Medicaid and CHIP eligibility data and the Area Resource File, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh tested two hypotheses: 1) that the decision to enroll a child is a function of family, child, and other characteristics; and 2) the more widespread poverty is in a community the less likely a child is to be enrolled by the family into Medicaid. The analyses also explored the interaction between utilization of health care services and propensity to enroll in Medicaid. This study had the following three objectives in mind: 1) to identify the factors that influence enrollment of Medicaid-eligible children into the program that will inform policy recommendations to help increase enrollment of children, 2) to develop baseline data on children who would presumably be eligible for the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP); and 3) to describe the utilization of health services by children.