Welfare Reform/Child Well-Being Administrative Data Linking. Introduction

06/01/1999

With the onset of Welfare Reform, numerous research questions have arisen. One overall prevailing question that continues to haunt Welfare Reform is whether members of a household (particularly children) have been hurt in the implementation of Welfare Reform and the onset of employment. There are indeed many questions on what happens inside the household now that a parent or head of the household must work. While this paper does not offer conclusive answers to these and other questions, it does however offer a brief examination into a household's utilization of Medicaid medical services before and after employment. While utilization of Medicaid medical services does not ensure good health and the lack of utilization does not necessarily indicate "poor" health, changes in the utilization patterns could serve as a warning signal to policy makers - giving administrators the opportunity to investigate. This paper examines the research question "Has Medicaid utilization changed for any member of a TANF household where at least 1 adult member has become employed?" While the findings of this paper do not answer that question conclusively, it does provide some preliminary information using several key administrative files.