Does Family Health Insurance Coverage Matter for Children’s Health? Evidence from Auto-Enrollment in Wisconsin

Laura Dague, Texas A&M University

In February 2008, 26,000 adults and 18,000 children who were family members of current beneficiaries of Wisconsin’s combined Medicaid/Children’s Health Insurance Program were automatically enrolled into the program. Adults in families with incomes above 150% of the federal poverty line were subject to modest premium payments and disenrolled very quickly, while those with incomes below 150% of the federal poverty line tended to stay enrolled. Children were not subject to this premium limit. I use administrative enrollment and claims data from Wisconsin’s program and the exogenous differences in parental Medicaid coverage resulting from the auto-enrollment phenomenon in order to determine whether parental enrollment matters for children’s health care utilization and health outcomes.

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Presented in Session 72: New Approaches to Understanding Child Health: A Closer Look at the Family