Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Health Insurance Coverage of Low-Income Rural Children Increases and is More Continuous Following CHIP Implementation

Abstract: 

Prior to the passage of CHIP, about one in four low-income rural and urban children (family income below 200% of the federal poverty level) were uninsured in a given month. Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey (MEPS), this study found that in the years following CHIP’s implementation health insurance coverage and continuity increased among low-income children—particularly for those living in rural areas. By CHIP’s maturity, coverage for rural children improved so much that their uninsured rate dropped below that of urban children (14% compared to 20%, respectively). Among those with health insurance, rural children were more likely than their urban counterparts to lose coverage pre-CHIP, and were less likely to lose it after CHIP was in place for five or more years. Whether low-income rural adults will see similar gains in coverage continuity under the Affordable Care Act may depend on whether states choose to participate in Medicaid expansions, and what outreach strategies they use to enroll rural populations.

Suggested Citation: Ziller EC. Health Insurance Coverage of Low-Income Rural Children Increases and Is More Continuous Following CHIP Implementation. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service, Maine Rural Health Research Center; 2013. Policy Brief PB-53.

Publication Type: 
Research and Policy Brief
Publish Date: 
March 31, 2014
URL: 
http://muskie.usm.maine.edu/Publications/rural/Health-Insurance-Coverage-Rural-Low-income-Children.pdf

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Hartley Retires as Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center

David Hartley, PhD

David Hartley, PhD, the Director of the Maine Rural Health Research Center (MRHRC) and a Research Professor of Public Health has announced that he will be retiring from the University of Southern Maine August 31st, 2014. David came to the University in 1994 and has directed the MRHRC since 2004. Andy Coburn, PhD, Research Professor of Public Health, will take over as the new MRHRC Director. Erika Ziller, PhD continues in her role as Deputy Director. David has had a distinguished career in rural health and rural health research, and has made lasting contributions to the field with his work on rural behavioral health, rural disparities and health, and rural active living.

A celebration will be scheduled in early fall to honor David and his many contributions to the field and the University.

 

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