Medicaid and SCHIP Participation in Rural and Urban Areas

Lead researcher:
Project funded:
September 2008
Project completed:
August 2010
Medicaid and SCHIP are an important source of health insurance coverage in rural communities. The programs also are vital sources of income for rural healthcare providers. However, it can be difficult to obtain state-specific information on program characteristics relevant to rural areas.

This project updates individual fact sheets for all states with information on state Medicaid and SCHIP policies and the percentage of the state's rural and urban population that are enrolled in Medicaid. When available, the profiles will include comparisons across the rural continuum of total numbers of Medicaid enrollees, Medicaid expenditures, and Medicaid managed care.

A policy brief will examine changes over the past two or three years in rural-relevant program features in states with available data. Further, research suggests that Medicaid and SCHIP participation rates-the share of eligible individuals who actually enroll-may be lowest in rural areas, but there is little state-specific information on this issue. Employing a mixed method design, quantitative techniques will be used to compare children's Medicaid and SCHIP participation rates in rural and urban areas at the state level. Qualitative case studies of states with relatively high rural participation rates will identify successful outreach and enrollment practices for rural areas.