The Dynamics of Health Insurance Coverage: 1996 to 2000

Vol. IX, No. 3
July 2006

With the SCHIP program enrolling 897,000 children in its first year of operation, questions remained: Did SCHIP reach its target population? What proportion of new enrollees were the previously uninsured versus those who substituted prior private coverage or Medicaid benefits? While previous literature suggests that Medicaid expansions have led to reductions in both uninsurance and private coverage (based on varying state requirements and household income levels), no studies had used longitudinal data to assess this SCHIP infancy period. Nearly a decade after the program’s inception, researchers Lisa Dubay, Ph.D., and Linda Blumberg, Ph.D., of the Urban Institute, sought to answer these questions by analyzing whether the increases in program participation were reflective of low-income uninsured children having gained access to new coverage, or whether families had substituted public coverage for private.