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Informing Policy. Advancing Health.

Top FAQs: New Estimates on Children and Health Insurance in Colorado

The Colorado Health Institute today released a 2013 update to our Colorado Children’s Health Insurance Status series. Before you dive into the new data, here are answers to a few questions:

1. Why do people care about how many kids are eligible but not enrolled in Medicaid or CHP+?

Beginning in 2014, nearly all Colorado children will be required to have health insurance. While more than 90 percent of Colorado kids  have insurance, the latest data from the 2011 American Community Survey suggest that about 125,000  are uninsured. Of these kids, nearly three-quarters (71 percent, to be exact) are eligible for public health insurance programs but not enrolled. That means about 89,000 children could be covered by public health insurance but aren’t. Each year, the Colorado Health Institute publishes estimates of children eligible but not enrolled (EBNE) in Medicaid and the Child Health Plan Plus (CHP+) to help health policy leaders better understand enrollment patterns in these programs.

 2. What’s new this year?

We have changed  the way we define EBNE in CHP+. In May 2010, the Colorado Health Care Affordability Act expanded CHP+ eligibility to children in families with incomes up to 250 percent of the federal poverty level from 205 percent of the poverty level. Because of this change, the definition now includes children in families with incomes up to 250 percent of FPL. (For more details on this change, please see Page 8 of the Data Supplement.)

 3. How have the estimates changed since last year?

The number of kids EBNE in Medicaid fell to 39,000 in 2011 from 42,000 in 2010, though the change was not statistically significant. The number of kids EBNE in CHP+ increased, though that is because we changed how we define EBNE in CHP+. (See FAQ 2).

The number of insured children also decreased, from 132,000 in 2011 to 125,000 in 2010, though this change was not statistically significant either.

 4. I’m really just interested in the Cliff’s Notes. Which publication is right for me?

Download our fact sheet. It summarizes the high-level findings from this year’s release, and includes some handy maps that can help you see regional variation in EBNE rates.

5. I want to know how many children are EBNE in CHP+ in my county. Which publication is right for me?

Take a look at our data supplement. In that publication, you’ll find detailed tables that list the number and percentage of children who are EBNE and enrolled in each county. Due to small sample sizes, please use caution when interpreting estimates for small counties.

6. I am a die-hard data nerd and want to know exactly how you came up with these numbers. Which publication is right for me?

You’ve come to the right place! Our Methodology document is designed just for you. It lists  the assumptions we made and details exactly how we estimated EBNE using data from the American Community Survey and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. And if this document doesn’t answer your questions, feel free to email us.

As always, if you have questions that aren’t answered by these publications, please contact us. We can analyze the EBNE data by age, race/ethnicity, English language proficiency, and a host of other indicators. We’re just a phone call away!