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Pediatrics. 2000 Jul;106(1 Pt 1):14-21.

A comparison of the socioeconomic and health status characteristics of uninsured, state Children's health insurance program-eligible children in the united states with those of other groups of insured children: implications for policy.

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  • 1School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, Illinois 60607-3025, USA.



To describe the sociodemographic and health status characteristics of the national uninsured, State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP)-eligible population, and to compare this population with Medicaid-enrolled children, privately insured children, and privately insured children who have family income in the SCHIP eligibility range.


Data were analyzed for 50 950 children 0 to 18 years of age included in the 1993 and 1994 National Health Interview Surveys. The survey obtained information on insurance coverage and sociodemographic and health status measures. Bivariate analyses were conducted to identify the relationships between SCHIP eligibility and sociodemographic and health status characteristics. Multivariate analyses were conducted to assess the independent association of the sociodemographic and health status variables with the likelihood of being uninsured, SCHIP-eligible.


Results indicate that SCHIP children exhibit markedly different socioeconomic and health status characteristics than do both Medicaid- enrolled and privately insured children, although these differences are less significant in privately insured children. SCHIP children more often live with college- educated (39.4%) and employed adults (91.2%) than do Medicaid-enrolled children (23.0% and 53.9%, respectively). However, SCHIP children live with college-educated and employed adults less than do all privately insured children (66.7% and 96.9%, respectively) and privately insured/same-income children (57.8% and 97.0%, respectively). Parents of SCHIP-eligible children are also disproportionately self-employed or employed in industries (e.g., retail trade) and occupations in which health insurance coverage is less available or affordable. SCHIP-eligible children are also 2 times more likely to be adolescents and 11/2 times more likely to be in excellent health than Medicaid-eligible children. Compared with privately insured children, SCHIP-eligible children are nearly 3 times more likely to be Hispanic and nearly 2 times more likely to be rated in fair or poor health.


The results demonstrate that uninsured, SCHIP-eligible children are substantially different from children in these groups, particularly compared with Medicaid-enrolled children. These differences need to be taken into account when setting policies and implementing programs intended to increase health insurance coverage and access to health care.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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