How Well is CHIP Addressing Primary and Preventive Care Needs and Access for Children?

Publisher: Academic Pediatrics, Children's Health Insurance Program Supplement, edited by Mary Harrington, Stacey McMorrow, and Kimberly Smith, vol. 15, no. 3s
May 01, 2015
Kimberly V. Smith and Claire Dye

Objective—To examine differences in primary care outcomes under the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP) compared to private coverage and being uninsured in 10 states.

Methods—We used data from a survey of parents of recent and established CHIP enrollees conducted from January 2012 through March 2013. We compared the primary care experiences of established CHIP enrollees to the preenrollment experiences of previously uninsured and privately insured recent CHIP enrollees to estimate differences in care outcomes.

Results—Parents of 4142 recent enrollees and 5518 established enrollees responded to the survey (response rates were 46% for recent enrollees and 51% for established enrollees). Compared to being uninsured, CHIP enrollees were more likely to have a well-child visit, receive a range of preventive care services, and have patient-centered care experiences. They were also more likely than uninsured children to have a regular source of care or provider, an easy time making appointments, and shorter wait times for those appointments. Relative to privately insured children, CHIP enrollees received preventive care services at similar rates and to be more likely to receive effective care coordination services. However, CHIP enrollees were less likely than privately insured children to have a regular source of care or provider and nighttime and weekend access to a usual source of care.

Conclusions—CHIP continues to provide high levels of access to primary care, especially compared to uninsured children, and to provide benefits comparable to private insurance.