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From Health Affairs:


Without CHIP, Sharply Higher Insurance Costs For Many Low-Income Families



Bethesda, MD—Funding for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) is now set to expire after September 2015.  A new study, being released by Health Affairs as a Web First, and also appearing in its April issue, examines the availability and cost of dependent coverage for children through employer-sponsored plans. Such plans would be the primary pathway to affordable coverage for more than half of all children losing CHIP eligibility, insofar as access to employer-sponsored coverage through their parents can bar children from receiving Marketplace subsidies. According to the study, 96.9 percent of enrollees in employer-sponsored plans had access to dependent coverage. The additional cost would vary--as much as $7,252 per year for workers with one dependent child and $11,829 for those with two or more dependent children. The study also found that adding dependent coverage could cost many families more than 8.05 percent of their income, qualifying them for hardship exemptions from buying coverage. As a result, many children once covered by CHIP would no longer be insured. This study is thought to provide the first estimates documenting variations across employers in the marginal costs to families adding children to employer-sponsored plans.

Many Families May Face Sharply Higher Costs If Public Health Insurance For Their Children Is Rolled Back


By Thomas M. Selden, Lisa Dubay, G. Edward Miller, Jessica Vistnes, Matthew Buettgens, and Genevieve M. Kenney


Selden, Miller, and Vistnes are affiliated with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ); Dubay, Buettgens, and Kenney are with the Urban Institute.


Dubay, Buettgens, and Kenney received funding for this study from the National Institute for Health Care Reform and the Urban Institute.

For their analysis, the authors used the 2012 and 2013 Medical Expenditure Panel Surveys (MEPS), conducted by the Census Bureau and sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). "The estimates presented here provide clear evidence that rollbacks in public coverage could leave many families with comparatively much more costly options for covering their children," the authors concluded. "Understanding the number of children affected by public coverage rollbacks...will be critical to the discussion about CHIP reauthorization." 

About Health Affairs

Health Affairs is the leading journal at the intersection of health, health care, and policy. Published by Project HOPE, the peer-reviewed journal appears each month in print, with additional Web First papers published periodically at The full text of each Health Affairs Web First paper is available free of charge to all website visitors for a one-week period following posting, after which it switches to pay-per-view for nonsubscribers. Web First papers are supported in part by a grant from The Commonwealth Fund. You can also find the journal on Facebook and Twitter. Read daily perspectives on Health Affairs Blog. Download our podcasts, including monthly Narrative Matters essays, on iTunes. Tap into Health Affairs content with the new iPad app.