Medicaid Disenrollment Patterns Among Children Coming into Contact with Child Welfare Agencies
Objectives To examine retention of Medicaid coverage over time for children in the child welfare system. Methods We linked a national survey of children with histories of abuse and neglect to their Medicaid claims files from 36 states, and followed these children over a 4 year period. We estimated a Cox proportional hazards model on time to first disenrollment from Medicaid. Results Half of our sample (50 %) retained Medicaid coverage across 4 years of follow up. Most disenrollments occurred in year 4. Being 3-5 years of age and rural residence were associated with increased hazard of insurance loss. Fee-for-service Medicaid and other non-managed insurance arrangements were associated with a lower hazard of insurance loss. Conclusions for Practice A considerable number of children entering child environments seem to retain Medicaid coverage over multiple years. Finding ways to promote entry of child welfare-involved children into health insurance coverage will be critical to assure services for this highly vulnerable population.