How Effective Are Different Welfare-to-Work Approaches? Five-Year Adult and Child Impacts for Eleven Programs. Coverage for Children

12/01/2001

Table 8.3 presents coverage for respondents' children. Respondents reported the coverage status of each of their children at the end of year 5. This analysis is limited to respondents' dependent children aged 18 or younger at the five-year interview date.(10) Children were considered to be covered if respondents reported that children had coverage from Medicaid or from a private insurer or if respondents reported receiving welfare or SSI benefits. Although data were collected for each child, the following analysis examines whether all children in the family were covered.(11)

 

Table 8.3
Health Care Coverage for Respondents' Children at the End of Year 5

Site and Program

Sample Size Program Group (%) Control Group (%) Difference (Impact) Percentage Change (%)

All dependent children have health care coverage

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 974 85.1 84.5 0.6 0.7
Atlanta Human Capital Development 1,057 83.4 84.5 -1.1 -1.3
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 1,005 78.8 81.8 -3.0 -3.6
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 1,026 79.3 81.8 -2.5 -3.1
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 1,120 81.9 83.2 -1.3 -1.6
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 614 83.8 82.1 1.8 2.2
Riverside Human Capital Development 743 85.2 82.1 3.2 3.8
Portland 451 75.5 80.2 -4.7 -5.8

All dependent children have public health care coverage

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 974 63.7 69.1 -5.3* -7.7
Atlanta Human Capital Development 1,057 66.6 69.1 -2.5 -3.6
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 1,005 49.7 51.3 -1.6 -3.2
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 1,026 52.1 51.3 0.8 1.5
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 1,120 57.6 63.9 -6.2** -9.8
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 614 66.0 70.9 -4.9 -6.9
Riverside Human Capital Development 743 67.8 70.9 -3.1 -4.4
Portland 451 44.1 52.1 -8.0 -15.3

All dependent children have private health care coverage

Atlanta Labor Force Attachment 974 19.8 16.0 3.9* 24.2
Atlanta Human Capital Development 1,057 16.0 16.0 0.0 0.1
Grand Rapids Labor Force Attachment 1,005 31.5 32.8 -1.3 -4.0
Grand Rapids Human Capital Development 1,026 29.2 32.8 -3.6 -10.8
Riverside Labor Force Attachment 1,120 22.9 19.9 3.1 15.5
Lacked high school diploma or basic skills 614 16.4 12.4 4.0 32.3
Riverside Human Capital Development 743 19.1 12.4 6.7** 54.2
Portland 451 30.2 28.6 1.7 5.8
SOURCE:  MDRC calculations from the Five-Year Client Survey.
NOTES:  See Appendix A.2

A comparison of Table 8.3 with Table 8.2 shows that children were somewhat more likely than adults to have health care coverage at the end of year 5. In Grand Rapids, for example, 82 percent of control group children were covered compared with 78 percent of respondents. This is perhaps not surprising given the range of public programs that specifically cover low-income children. Nonetheless, the rates of noncoverage (15 to 20 percent) suggest that these programs are not serving all eligible children.

The greater number of public programs for children also is reflected in the fact that children were more likely than adults to be covered through public sources and less likely through private sources. Only 33 percent of control group children in Grand Rapids, for example, had private insurance compared with 41 percent of adults. Employers may not have offered to cover children or the adults may have turned down this coverage if it was too expensive.

Finally, none of the programs had statistically significant effects on coverage for children. They did lead to a slight shift from public to private sources, which mirrors the effects found for adults. It is encouraging that the programs, by leading more families from welfare to work, did not negatively affect children's health care coverage.