The Effects of Child Health on Health Insurance Status

Hope Corman, Rider University and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Kelly Noonan, Rider University and National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)
Nancy E. Reichman, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School
Anne Carroll, Rider University

We examine why children and mothers in the Families and Child Wellbeing (FFCWB) become uninsured, focusing on the effects of children’s severe health problems and their fathers’ responses to those problems. We use FFCWB data to examine the effects of exogenous “shocks” in infant health on children’s and mothers’ health insurance status. We estimate the probability of insurance loss after one and three years. We also investigate the channels by which health insurance loss may occur—through the father, through the mother’s employment, or through a loss in public insurance. The results indicate how children’s health affects an important type of father contribution—health insurance. More generally, they provide important information on characteristics associated with health insurance status in a vulnerable population and will add to the small but growing literature on the effects of children on families’ socioeconomic status.

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Presented in Session 148: Children's Impacts on Fathering Behaviors