What happens to children who lose public health insurance coverage?
Little is known about what happens to children who disenroll from public health-insurance programs. A telephone survey was conducted of children who recently had disenrolled from either Oregon's State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) or FHIAP (premium assistance) programs, both of which have identical eligibility requirements. Access for these disenrolled children was driven largely by health insurance coverage. Insured children were more likely to have a usual source of care and to have seen a physician when they needed one. While FHIAP-disenrolled children were more likely to have private health-insurance coverage than those leaving SCHIP, absolute levels were low (53 percent and 33 percent, respectively). Thus, these programs generally did not provide a bridge to nonsubsidized private health insurance. Despite higher incomes (the main reason for losing coverage), many families did not purchase private health insurance, presumably because they still could not afford to do so