Exploring the Viability of Medicaid Coverage as a Safety-Net Resource for Households Impacted by Job Loss

Grants and Contracts Details


2 out of 5 Americans will experience acute poverty spells within their lifetime, and some could fall into deep poverty because of extended unemployment. Job loss puts households in crisis, creating severe financial distress and lasting negative health effects. While the share of households living in poverty has been decreasing, but ever since the Great Recession economic insecurity and job instability have been increasing. For most people, becoming unemployed means losing health insurance, and over half of all non-elderly Americans receive their health insurance coverage through their employer. 40-50 percent of adults aged 19-54 will experience a gap in health insurance coverage in their lifetime. Medicaid is increasingly recognized for its anti-poverty effects for poor and near-poor families. For households negatively impacted by job displacement and job instability, access to Medicaid could provide protections from bankruptcy, housing insecurity, and financial distress. We know little about how non-poor and transitionally poor households use Medicaid as a potential safety net source of coverage following unforeseen job losses and how Medicaid interacts with unemployment insurance to protect health. This early career award would provide me with sufficient protected time to: • study the intersectional impacts of job loss, Medicaid, and other social programs on health, • acquire practical knowledge in the analysis of restricted versions of nationally representative survey databases, and • develop a focused research agenda on how transitionally poor households use Medicaid as a safety net.
Effective start/end date4/1/209/1/22


  • Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: $249,570.00


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