The Impact of the Medicaid/CHIP Expansions on Children: A Synthesis of the Evidence

Health Policy Center, The Urban Institute, Washington, DC 20037, USA.
Medical Care Research and Review (Impact Factor: 2.62). 03/2012; 69(4):372-96. DOI: 10.1177/1077558712437245
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This article reviews findings from 38 rigorous studies published in the peer-reviewed literature of the impact of the Medicaid/Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) expansions on children. There is strong evidence for increases in enrollment in public programs and reductions in uninsurance following eligibility expansions. Medicaid enrollment continued to increase during the CHIP era (a "spillover effect"). Evidence for improved access to and use of services, particularly for dental care, is also very strong. There are fewer studies of health status impacts, and the evidence is mixed. There is a very wide range in the size of effects estimated in the studies reviewed because of the methods used and the populations studied. The review identifies several important research gaps on this topic, particularly the small number of studies of the effects on health status. Both research methods and findings from the child expansions can provide insights for evaluating the coming expansions for adults under the Affordable Care Act.

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