NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Study Finds Drop In Number Of Low-Income Parents On Medicaid

June 20, 2000

Nearly one million low-income parents in 15 states have been dropped from Medicaid rolls since welfare reform began in 1996, according to a study by Families USA, a consumerist health care lobbying group.

The 15 states are home to 70 percent of under age 65 uninsured adults with incomes of less than twice the poverty level -- or under $28,300 for a family of four.

  • Among the 15 states studied, Medicaid rolls declined 27 percent -- or by 945,880 parents.
  • While Georgia ranks sixth among the states in the number of low-income families that reside there, it led the states in the number of such families leaving Medicaid -- 50 percent, or 64,931 parents.
  • The greatest decline numerically occurred in New York -- where 123,630 left Medicaid rolls.
  • Tennessee registered the smallest percentage decline, where only 11 percent of recipients left -- or 12,302 parents.

As of December 1999, the 15 states had 2,557,673 low-income parents enrolled in Medicaid -- down from 3,503,553 in January of 1996.

Experts say the decline in children's insurance coverage has been offset, to some extent, by the creation of federal and state health programs designed specifically for children.

Source: Robert Pear, "A Million Parents Lost Medicaid, Study Says," New York Times, June 20, 2000.


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