Parental eligibility and enrollment in state children’s health insurance program: The roles of parental health, employment, and family structure

Jane Miller, Dorothy Gaboda, Colleen N. Nugent, Theresa M. Simpson, Joel Cantor

Publication Date: 02/01/2011

We examined eligibility and enrollment among parents of children in New Jersey’s State Children’s Health Insurance Program following expansion of parental eligibility for NJ FamilyCare coverage. Data were from the 2003 NJ FamilyCare Family Health Survey (n=416 families). Parental eligibility was higher in households without a full-time employedparent(oddsratio [OR]=5.50; 95% confidence interval [CI]=2.72, 11.14) and lower among single parents (OR=0.38; 95% CI=0.23, 0.61). Enrollment was higher among single parents (OR=2.24; 95% CI=1.17, 4.31). Roughly one third of eligible parents did not enroll, suggesting the need to increase awareness of parental eligibility and reduce barriers to enrollment.