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A Cohort Study of Current and Former Medicaid in Two North Carolina Counties, 1996-1999

JHHSA, Vol. 27 No. 1, (2004)

This article presents findings of a 1998-99 resurvey of Medicaid recipients (adults and children) who were first surveyed in 1996 in Mecklenburg and New Hanover Counties in North Carolina. It reports the insurance status and health care of former Medicaid recipients and compares them with those still on Medicaid in 1998-99 in respect to access to care and satisfaction. Just under half of those who had left Medicaid were without employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI) at the time of the second survey. Former Medicaid recipients without ESI rated their access to healthcare lower than those with Medicaid and former Medicaid recipients with ESI. Over 50% of target respondents in all groups were more positive than negative on access-related variables. But only those on Medicaid in Mecklenburg County had significant increases in satisfaction with health care between 1996 and 1998-99. Those in the control county who were off Medicaid and those still receiving it and former recipients in Mecklenburg showed no significant change. The study has great policy relevance in light of recent national welfare reform.

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