Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health
AbstractOf the ten million uninsured children in 1996, nearly half were eligible for Medicaid, the public health insurance program for poor families, but not enrolled. In response, policy efforts to improve coverage have shifted to increasing Medicaid take-up among those already eligible rather than expanding eligibility. However, little is known about the reasons poor families fail to use public programs or the consequences of failing to enroll. The latter is of particular relevance to Medicaid given that children are typically enrolled when they become sufficiently sick as to require hospitalization. Using new data on Medicaid outreach, enrollment and child hospitalizations in California, I find that information and administrative costs are important barriers to program enrollment, with the latter particularly true for Hispanic and Asian families. In addition, enrolling children in Medicaid before they get sick promotes the use of preventative care, reduces the need for hospitalization and improves health.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12105.
Date of creation: Mar 2006
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Other versions of this item:
- Anna Aizer, 2007. "Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 400-415, August.
- I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Production
- I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
- I38 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Welfare, Well-Being, and Poverty - - - Government Programs; Provision and Effects of Welfare Programs
- J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-04-01 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2006-04-01 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2006-04-01 (Insurance Economics)
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The Review of Economics and Statistics,
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- David Card & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2002. "Using Discontinuous Eligibility Rules to Identify the Effects of the Federal Medicaid Expansions on Low Income Children," NBER Working Papers 9058, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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