BACKGROUND: Although national cross-sectional estimates of the percentage of children enrolled in Medicaid are available, the percentage of children enrolled in Medicaid over longer periods of time is unknown. Also, the percentage and characteristics of children who rely on Medicaid throughout childhood, rather than transiently, are unknown.
METHODS: We performed a longitudinal examination of Medicaid coverage among children across a 5-year period. Children 0 to 13 years of age in the 2004 National Health Interview Survey file were linked to Medicaid Analytic eXtract files from 2004 to 2008. The percentage of children enrolled in Medicaid at any time during the 5-year observation period and the number of years during which children were enrolled in Medicaid were calculated. Duration of Medicaid enrollment was compared across sociodemographic characteristics by using χ2 tests.
RESULTS: Forty-one percent of all US children were enrolled in Medicaid at least some time during the 5-year period, compared with a single-year estimate of 32.8% in 2004 alone. Of enrolled children, 51.5% were enrolled during all 5 years. Children with lower parental education, with lower household income, of minority race or ethnicity, and in suboptimal health were more likely to be enrolled in Medicaid during all 5 years.
CONCLUSIONS: Longitudinal data reveal higher percentages of children with Medicaid insurance than shown by cross-sectional data. Half of children enrolled in Medicaid are enrolled during at least 5 consecutive years, and these children have higher risk sociodemographic profiles.
- CHIP —
- Children’s Health Insurance Program
- CMS —
- Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
- MAX —
- Medicaid Analytic eXtract
- NCHS —
- National Center for Health Statistics
- NHIS —
- National Health Interview Survey
- Accepted July 5, 2013.
- Copyright © 2013 by the American Academy of Pediatrics