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


The programs in the NEWWS Evaluation were designed to move recipients from welfare to work, and the earlier chapters showed that many were successful in doing this. However, moving from welfare to work leads to a loss in health coverage for some recipients if they cannot replace their lost Medicaid with private coverage. Many low-wage workers do not have employer-provided coverage, either because their employers do not offer it or they cannot afford the high premiums.

This chapter examines how the NEWWS programs affected the health coverage of respondents and their children. Data on health coverage from the Five-Year Client Survey are available for 7 of the 11 programs. Health coverage status is an important aspect of family well-being, because it affects families' access to care and the quality of care they receive. Children who are uninsured, for example, are much less likely to see doctors than their insured counterparts, are less likely to have preventative care, and are more likely to have unmet health care needs.(1) Increasingly, families are without coverage: In 1997, for example, nearly half of all working poor parents were uninsured.(2)