Insurance Coverage During Transitions
Evidence from Medicaid Automatic Enrollment for Children Receiving Supplemental Security Income
Published in: Health Services Research (2023). doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.14261
Posted on rand.org Nov 29, 2023
To analyze relationships between Medicaid automatic enrollment for child Supplemental Security Income (SSI) recipients and health insurance coverage during transitions.
Data Sources and Study Setting
Medical Expenditure Panel Study, 2000–2020 and National Survey for Children with Special Health Care Needs, 2001–2010.
Leveraging variation in SSI-Medicaid automatic enrollment status across regions and over time, we estimate a regression model to quantify associations between automatic enrollment and insurance coverage. We validate our findings in the NS-CSHCN.
Our sample includes children receiving SSI for a disability. We also analyze a subsample of children newly enrolled in SSI.
Automatic enrollment is associated with a statistically significant increase in insurance coverage. Expanding automatic enrollment to all states is associated with increases in Medicaid enrollment of 3% (CI 0.9%–6.7%) among all SSI children and 7% (CI 1.1%–13.9%) among children newly enrolled in SSI. We find similar decreases in uninsurance. Analysis in the NS-CSHCN replicates these findings.
Medicaid automatic enrollment policies are associated with increased insurance coverage for SSI children, particularly those transitioning into the program. Medicaid policy defaults could play an important role in reducing administrative burdens to improve children's coverage and access to care.