State Policies Largely Responsible for the Duration of Children's Enrollment in SCHIP

Exploring SCHIP retention: When do children leave and who becomes uninsured?

From 2007 to 2008, analysts at Mathematica Policy Research, studied information on nearly 10,000 children enrolled in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) in seven states in 2002. The study shed light on how long children remained enrolled in the program and on their health insurance coverage after leaving it. The analysts also investigated whether the policies of the states or the characteristics of the children and their families affected their coverage.

Key Findings:

  • The duration of children's enrollment in SCHIP varied dramatically across the seven states, and much of this variation was due to the states' own policies, not to the characteristics of the children and their families.
  • Once SCHIP children left public insurance, they were far more likely to become uninsured than they were to obtain private coverage, and they often remained uninsured for many months.