Longitudinal patterns of health insurance coverage among a national sample of children in the child welfare system

Ramesh Raghavan, Gregory A. Aarons, Scott C. Roesch, Laurel K. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Objectives. We sought to describe health insurance coverage over time among a national sample of children who came into contact with child welfare or child protective services agencies. Methods. We used data from 4 waves of the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being to examine insurance coverage among 2501 youths. Longitudinal insurance trajectories were identified using latent class analyses, a technique used to classify individuals into groupings of observed variables, and survey-weighted logistic regression was used to identify variables associated with class membership. Results. We identified 2 latent insurance classes - 1 contained children who gained health insurance, and the other contained children who stably maintained coverage over time. History of sexual abuse, and race/ethnicity other than White, Black, and Hispanic, were associated with membership in the "gainer" class. Foster care placement and poorer health status were associated with membership in the "maintainer" class. Caregiver characteristics were not associated with class membership. Conclusions. The majority of children in child welfare had stable health insurance coverage over time. Given this vulnerable population's dependence upon Medicaid, protection of existing entitlements to Medicaid is essential to preserve their stable insurance coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)478-484
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican journal of public health
Volume98
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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