Story at a glance
Although more children were covered in the short-term thanks to the experiment, many remained uninsured, and enrollment dwindled over time.
An analysis of the 2008 Oregon Medicaid lottery revealed that after three months, for every nine adults enrolled, one additional eligible child was also enrolled in the program — underscoring the magnitude of the “woodwork effect” on insurance enrollment.
Findings were published in the American Economic Journal. The “woodwork effect” is a term used by analysts to describe how individuals eligible for benefits may come “out of the woodwork” to claim certain benefits.
The findings of the current study highlight how adult access to Medicaid can significantly boost enrollment rates for previously uncovered children. However, authors caution many more remain outside the system.
Health insurance coverage has been tied to a myriad of positive health outcomes including improved access to care, quality of life and increased survival rates for cancer patients, among others.
In 2008, the Oregon Medicaid lottery randomly selected low-income, uninsured individuals to be allowed to apply for the program, while children in these households were eligible despite any lottery outcome. A total of 90,000 applications were received for the 10,000 new slots created by the Oregon lottery.
Throughout the US, as many as 14 percent of eligible adults and 7 percent of eligible children remain unenrolled in Medicaid.
Medicaid provides federally funded health insurance to the nation’s underserved populations while under the 2010 Affordable Care Act (ACA), states had the option of Medicaid coverage eligibility to residents. As of 2022, just 12 states have medicaid/issue-brief/status-of-state-medicaid-expansion-decisions-interactive-map/” data-ylk=”slk:not adopted” class=”link “not adopted Medicaid expansion.
Effects of the