Patterns of health insurance coverage among rural and urban children [Article]

Document Type


Publication Date



MRHRC, access, insurance, rural, children, Access/Insurance

Publication Title

Medical care research and review : MCRR


Despite the potential for the State Children's Health Insurance Program to improve the health care coverage of rural children, the expansion of public health insurance to children in rural areas may be hampered by a lack of understanding about the patterns of insurance coverage they experience. This study uses the Census Bureau's 1993-1996 panel of the Survey of Income and Program Participation to evaluate differences in the duration of, and in their entry into and exit from, uninsured spells. While the average duration of new spells was shorter for rural children and most regained coverage quickly, rural children were also more likely than urban children to experience protracted spells of uninsurance. Moreover, rural children were more likely than urban children to move between public and private coverage. These findings have important implications for designing insurance expansion programs and outreach strategies to effectively enroll and retain rural children.