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SCHIP Making Progress: Increased Take-up Contributes to Coverage Gains

July/August 2003
Health Affairs, Vol. 22, No. 4
Peter J. Cunningham

Previous research based on HSC’s Community Tracking Study (CTS) showed that while coverage expansions through the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) greatly increased children’s eligibility for public or private health insurance coverage, uninsurance rates remained unchanged because of low take-up by eligible children. However, more recent data show that this is changing. Children’s uninsurance rates decreased sharply between 1999 and 2001; these changes were greatest in communities where take-up rates have traditionally been the lowest and uninsurance rates the highest. Although uninsurance rates still can be decreased further, state budget pressures threaten the momentum toward higher participation in public programs.

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