Health Conditions, Utilization, and Expenditures of Children in Foster Care. Medicaid Eligibility Dynamics


Children receiving emergency assistance were far less likely to receive Medicaid coverage for the full year than children in foster care. In California, EA children averaged less than six months of coverage during 1994, compared to 10 months for foster care children. The disparity was less pronounced in Florida, where EA children averaged eight months of Medicaid coverage. It would appear that emergency assistance was not only used more often in Florida than in California, but that it also provided a pathway to more stable Medicaid coverage.

Length of Medicaid Eligibility California Florida
Emergency Assistance
Foster Care
Emergency Assistance
Foster Care
Total 100.0 % 100.0% 100.0 % 100.0 %
1 to 5 Months 52.4 9.5 27.7 9.5
6 to 11 Months 35.3 18.2 34.8 17.7
12 Months 12.3 72.3 37.6 72.8
Mean (in months) 5.8 10.3 8.4 10.6