Unbiased Analysis of Today's Healthcare Issues

SCHIP takeup by immigrants

Written By: Jason Shafrin - Dec• 16•08

A paper by Buchmueller, LoSasso and Wong (2008) recounts that “6 million children who are eligible for public insurance remain uninsured.”  One question that remains to be answered is whether or not the 6 million children eligible for SCHIP who did not take it up were disproportionately from immigrant groups.  If this was true, public health workers could focus their take-up efforts in areas with high immigrant populations and produce more information material in foreign languages.

However, the authors the authors find the following: “In contrast to research on the earlier Medicaid expansions, we find similar take-up rates for the two groups. This suggests that state outreach strategies were not only effective at increasing take-up overall, but were successful in reducing disparities in access to coverage.”

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One Comment

  1. The 6 million children who are eligible for public insurance but not yet signed up does not entirely consist of SCHIP eligibles. I had recently written a blog posting (nutsforhealthcare.com) on the SCHIP program and referred to a figure of 1.7 million SCHIP children who are eligible and have not signed up (cited in the New York Times on 08/22/07, “Many Eligible for Child Health Plan Have No Idea”). The discrepancy seems most certainly accounted for by Medicaid, which is also a public insurance that one is not automatically enrolled in, even if qualified. It is true, however, that some states administer SCHIP through Medicaid expansion vs. as a standalone program.

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