This paper reports on findings from a series of focus groups with parents of current and former SCHIP enrollees in Alabama, Nevada, New Hampshire, and New Jersey. The focus groups were designed to explore parents’ feelings about and experiences with cost sharing. The groups addressed the following topics: attitudes about paying premiums and copayments, opinions about premium and copayment amounts, and aspects of the premium payment process (such as periodicity, billing and payment methods, and penalties for late and missed payments).
The focus groups were an invaluable tool in studying SCHIP, yielding nuanced, multifaceted results not attainable from surveys or analysis of enrollment data. The groups provided in-depth insight into parents’ experiences with their state SCHIP programs and the cost-sharing elements of those programs.