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Medicaid Eligibility Policy and the Crowding-Out Effect:Did Women and Children Drop Private Health Insurance to Enroll in Medicaid?

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Publication Date: October 1996

Publisher(s): Center for Studying Health System Change

Series: Issue Brief No. 03

Topic: Health (Health services for children)

Type: Brief


In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the federal government expanded Medicaid eligibility for children and pregnant women. By 1992, nearly a third of all children in the United States were eligible for Medicaid, and between 40 and 50 percent of women of childbearing age were eligible for Medicaid coverage for pregnancy-related services. During this period, the number of persons with employment-based insurance coverage declined, leading researchers to investigate whether Medicaid expansions have contributed to this decline -- a so-called crowding-out effect. This Issue Brief discusses research findings and the health policy implications of the crowding-out effect.