Welfare reform and health insurance: Consequences for parents

Jane L. Holl*, Kristen Shook Slack, Amy Bush Stevens

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objectives. We assessed the relation between the work promotion, welfare reduction, and marriage goals of welfare reform and the stability of health insurance of parents in transition from welfare to work. Methods. We analyzed a panel survey (1999-2002) of a stratified random sample of Illinois families receiving welfare in 1998 (n = 1 363). Results. Medicaid remains the foremost source of health insurance despite a significant decline in the proportion of parents with Medicaid. Regardless of work/ welfare status in year 1, transitioning to work only or no work/no welfare increased the likelihood of having unstable health insurance in years 2 and 3 compared with those who remained on welfare only. Conclusions. Parents who meet the welfare reform goals of work promotion and reduction of welfare dependence experience significant loss and instability of health insurance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)279-285
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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