NU Online News Service, Aug. 21, 10:41 a.m. – The State Children?fs Health Insurance Program helped cut the percentage of children who lack insurance between 1997 and 2001, but the percentage of working families covered by employer-sponsored health insurance remained flat, according to a new study by the Center for Studying Health System Change, Washington.
Researchers at the health policy think tank found that the proportion of uninsured children in low-income working families fell to 15.5% in 2001, from 20.4% in 1997.
But the researchers also found signs that public children?fs health insurance programs were crowding out employer-sponsored coverage. The proportion of children with working parents who were enrolled in public programs increased to 31.3%, from 21%, but the proportion who were enrolled in plans sponsored by their parents?f employers fell to 51%, from 55.4%.
When Congress created the SCHIP system in 1997, it tried to put safeguards in place to keep SCHIP coverage from crowding out employer-sponsored coverage. But the latest figures suggest SCHIP coverage crowded out employer-sponsored coverage for about 600,000 to 1 million children, according to the health system change researchers.