Insuring Both Parents and Children: Lessons from Prior State Expansions

The researchers examined prior state sponsored Medicaid expansions to analyze the impact of increasing eligibility for public programs (with and without premiums) and premium subsidies for purchase of private insurance on the insurance status and out-of-pocket costs of a family unit. Using the Annual Social and Economic Supplement to the Current Population Survey (CPS) for 2000-2013, they examined the variation in expansion policies across all states and over time to identify the effects of these public expansions on the insurance coverage of all family members. Medicaid and state-funded expansions for both parents and children were examined and the subgroup of states using subsidies, or premium assistance, was a focus. The researchers used publicly available Medical Expenditure Panel Survey – Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) data to identify the cost of private coverage and used recently collected information in the CPS to measure family out-of-pocket expenses resulting from different family coverage scenarios. The goal of this project was to inform policy regarding state Medicaid expansion, CHIP renewal, and basic health plan options under the Affordable Care Act.