Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health
Of 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.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2006|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as 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, 03.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
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- Kaestner, R. & Joyce, T. & Racine, A., 2001. "Medicaid eligibility and the incidence of ambulatory care sensitive hospitalizations for children," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 305-313, January.
- David Card & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2004.
"Using Discontinuous Eligibility Rules to Identify the Effects of the Federal Medicaid Expansions on Low-Income Children,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 86(3), pages 752-766, August.
- 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.
- David Card & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2003. "Using Discontinuous Eligibility Rules to Identify the Effects of the Federal Medicaid Expansions on Low Income Children," Department of Economics Working Papers 2003-09, Department of Economics, Williams College.
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- Robert Kaestner & Theodore Joyce & Andrew Racine, 1999. "Does Publicly Provided Health Insurance Improve the Health of Low-Income Children in the United States," NBER Working Papers 6887, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jonathan Gruber, 2003.
in: Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, pages 15-78
National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Dahlia K. Remler & Jason E. Rachlin & Sherry A. Glied, 2001. "What can the take-up of other programs teach us about how to improve take-up of health insurance programs?," NBER Working Papers 8185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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