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Medicaid Managed Care: Effects on Children's Medicaid Coverage and Utilization

  • Author(s): Currie, Janet
  • Fahr, John
  • et al.
Abstract

We use data from the National Health Interview Surveys to measure the effects of the growth of Medicaid managed care on children. We examine both the probability that individual children were Medicaid-covered and their utilization of care. We find that managed care penetration has significant effects on the composition of the Medicaid caseload. Poor white and Hispanic children are more likely to be enrolled in Medicaid where Medicaid managed care organizations are more prevalent, whereas black children are less likely to be enrolled. Also, toddlers are less likely to be enrolled than school age children. These lower enrollment rates are linked to increases in the numbers of black children and toddlers who go without any doctor visits in a year. Our results are consistent with cream-skimming by Medicaid managed care organizations along the lines of race and age.

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