Dismantling CHIP in Arizona: How Losing KidsCare Impacts a Child’s Health Care Costs

On January 31, 2014, an estimated 14,000 Arizona children lost their health coverage under KidsCare II, a temporary extension of the state’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). But in fact, Arizona began to dismantle its CHIP program, which provided stable, affordable coverage for uninsured children with family income at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL), when it froze enrollment in KidsCare effective January 2010. Arizona is the only state in the country to cut eligibility and phase out CHIP over time. This analysis examines three real-life scenarios of children and their actual use of health care services to determine what their costs would be if enrolled in plans from three different insurance carriers consistently offering the lowest cost QHPs across Arizona’s 15 counties.