Employment Transitions and Continuity of Health Insurance

Implications for Premium Assistance Programs : Premium Assistance Programs May Provide Stable Insurance for Up to One-Third of Low-Income Children

Published in: Health Affairs, v. 22, no. 5, Sep./Oct. 2003, p. 198-209

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 2003

by M. Susan Marquis, Kanika Kapur

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The authors use data from two nationwide panel surveys to explore whether premium assistance programs can provide stable insurance for low-income children. The authors estimate that low-income children who are newly enrolled in an employer-group plan would keep that coverage longer than similar children keep newly acquired public insurance. They conclude that group coverage could provide a source of insurance for eligible low-income children that is more stable than public insurance. However, only one-third of low-income uninsured children have access to group insurance, and most low-income children with access to a group plan are enrolled in it. Thus, premium assistance programs are difficult to target effectively, and other programs are necessary to reach the majority of uninsured children.

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