January 30, 2023
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Posted by NCID
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Mariana Zerpa (University of Leuvenin Florence) visited NCID to give a seminar entitled "Medicaid for middle-class families? Job loss and health insurance coverage of parents and children".

According to Zerpa, "When a worker loses his job, not only is exposed to loss of income and potentially other negative outcomes but also the loss of health insurance coverage for them and potentially for their kids as well." In the U.S there is a public health insurance program called Medicaid and is targeted towards low-income families: "we want to understand if the presence of this public health insurance option mitigates these impacts or not. We look at this throughout the income distribution looking at low-income, middle-income, and high-income families".

On private health insurance coverage, her work found that all income groups have a lower likelihood of having private health insurance just after a job loss. Still, the most significant impacts are located in the middle-income group because low-income workers are less likely to have Private health insurance, so they are less likely to lose it when they lose their job. On the other hand, high-income workers tend to recover private health insurance more quickly. So it's the middle-income group the one who's the most exposed to the loss of private health insurance.

"Medicaid is helping families mitigate the impacts of job loss on health insurance coverage. Even though it's targeted towards lower-income families, it does help mitigate those impacts, especially for low income because they are less exposed to the problem to start with but also for middle-income kids. The more generous the program, the smaller these impacts on having any health insurance gap", Zerpa confirms.