How Did SCHIP Affect the Insurance Coverage of Immigrant Children?

Thomas Buchmueller, Anthony Lo Sasso, Kathleen Wong

NBER Working Paper No. 13261
Issued in July 2007
NBER Program(s):Health Care, Health Economics

The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) significantly expanded public insurance eligibility and coverage for children in "working poor" families. Despite this success, it is estimated that over 6 million children who are eligible for public insurance remain uninsured. An important first step for designing strategies to increase enrollment of eligible but uninsured children is to determine how the take-up of public coverage varies within the population. Because of their low rates of insurance coverage and unique enrollment barriers, children of immigrants are an especially important group to consider. We compare the effect of SCHIP eligibility on the insurance coverage of children of foreign-born and native-born parents. In contrast to research on the earlier Medicaid expansions, we find similar take-up rates for the two groups. This suggests that state outreach strategies were not only effective at increasing take-up overall, but were successful in reducing disparities in access to coverage.

download in pdf format
   (102 K)

email paper

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13261

Published: Buchmueller Thomas C & Lo Sasso Anthony T & Wong Kathleen N, 2008. "How Did SCHIP Affect the Insurance Coverage of Immigrant Children?," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(2), pages 1-25, January. citation courtesy of

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Watson w16278 Inside the Refrigerator: Immigration Enforcement and Chilling Effects in Medicaid Participation
Lo Sasso and Buchmueller w9405 The Effect of the State Children's Health Insurance Program on Health Insurance Coverage
Aizer w12105 Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health
Currie w5388 Do Children of Immigrants Make Differential Use of Public Health Insurance?
Bitler and Hoynes w17667 Immigrants, Welfare Reform, and the U.S. Safety Net
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us