Extending Health Care Coverage to the Low-Income Population: The Influence of the Wisconsin Badgercare Program on Labor Market Outcomes

28 Pages Posted: 11 Apr 2005

See all articles by Barbara Wolfe

Barbara Wolfe

University of Wisconsin-Madison; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); RSSS-economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Thomas Kaplan

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Institute for Research on Poverty

Robert Haveman

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Yoonyoung Cho

World Bank

Date Written: April 2005

Abstract

The Wisconsin BadgerCare program, which became operational in July 1999, expanded public health insurance eligibility to families with incomes below 185 percent of the U.S poverty line (200 percent for those already enrolled). This eligibility expansion was part of a federal initiative known as the State Children's Health Initiative Program (SCHIP). In this paper, we investigate the effect of Wisconsin's BadgerCare on the labor market outcomes of low-income single mothers. Using a coordinated set of administrative databases, we track three cohorts of mother-only families: those who were receiving cash assistance under the Wisconsin AFDC and TANF programs in September 1995, 1997, and 1999, and who subsequently left welfare. We follow the 19,201 single mothers heading these welfare leaver families on a quarterly basis from two years before they left welfare through the end of 2001. We use information on the labor market and welfare history of these women and their household characteristics and macroeconomic environment to analyze the effect of the availability of additional public health coverage on their employment and earnings. We apply multiple methods to investigate these outcomes, comparing across- and within-individual differences. The core finding is that labor earnings increased with the introduction of BadgerCare. This increase was small in absolute dollar value but sizeable in percentage terms.

Keywords: health care coverage

JEL Classification: I18, J21

Suggested Citation

Wolfe, Barbara L. and Kaplan, Thomas and Haveman, Robert H. and Cho, Yoonyoung, Extending Health Care Coverage to the Low-Income Population: The Influence of the Wisconsin Badgercare Program on Labor Market Outcomes (April 2005). IZA Discussion Paper No. 1546. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=702403

Barbara L. Wolfe (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

Social Science Bldg
Madison, WI 53706
United States
6082626358 (Phone)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

RSSS-economics ( email )

Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 2601
Australia

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Thomas Kaplan

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Institute for Research on Poverty ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States

Robert H. Haveman

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-7398 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Yoonyoung Cho

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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