Health insurance for women who have left the TANF rolls

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Uninsured, welfare reform, welfare leavers, health care, health insurance


Interviews with 215 recent welfare leavers are summarized. Women’s access to health care, their health status, and rates of unmet need were examined. The impact of prior mental health contacts on these issues was also examined. About 31% were uninsured. Women in poorer health were more likely to have insurance than women in better health. This was not true for mental health; women were equally likely to lack insurance regardless of mental health status. Working women with prior mental health contacts were less likely to have employer-based coverage than those without contacts. Women informed about Transitional Medicaid Assistance were 2.5 times more likely to have coverage. The need for insurance was highlighted given 10% to 27% of the women had unmet health/mental health needs. The findings reveal the need to ensure that women leaving TANF do not lose access to basic health care and document the challenges health-related problems pose for many attempting to achieve self-sufficiency. [Article copies available for a fee from The Haworth Document Delivery Service: 1-800-HAWORTH. E-mail address: Website: © 2005 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.]