Medicaid and Children: Overcoming Barriers to Enrollment

Findings from a National Survey

This national telephone survey of low-income parents represents a major effort to better understand the barriers to Medicaid enrollment and to test the usefulness of ideas to facilitate enrollment in a quantitative way. Examining both parents of uninsured children who appear eligible for Medicaid and parents with children currently enrolled in Medicaid, the survey findings present: a profile of low-income, Medicaid-eligible children; parents' Medicaid knowledge and perceptions; key barriers to enrollment; and preferred strategies for improving enrollment. The findings suggest that most low-income parents value the Medicaid program and want to enroll their children. However, gaps in knowledge of program eligibility and information and a difficult enrollment process prevent many parents from successfully enrolling their children.