Children’s Health Coverage
A study in Health Services Research found that children in Oregon who were uninsured or had gaps in coverage were more likely to have adults in their households who had lost Medicaid coverage after recent cutbacks.
The study, which examined data from households enrolled in Oregon's food stamp program, found that 10% of children were eligible for public health insurance but uninsured and that over 25% of children had gaps in coverage during a 12-month period. According to the study, about 51% of children who were uninsured or had coverage gaps lived in a household in which an adult had recently lost Medicaid coverage, compared with about 40% of insured children and children with no gaps in insurance.
The authors write that despite budget shortfalls and economic downturns that have led to cost containment in Medicaid and other public programs, states need to recognize that cuts to coverage for adults can affect children. The authors also recommend that states develop strategies to inform parents of continued eligibility and benefits for their children and reduce administrative barriers to children's enrollment and retention in public programs (DeVoe et al., Health Services Research, February 2008).