Medicaid at 50: Covering Children Has Long-Term Educational Benefits

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities

July 7, 2015


Children eligible for Medicaid for more of their childhood are less likely to drop out of high school and likelier to earn a college bachelor's degree, a National Bureau of Economic Research study finds. The study evaluated those born from 1980 to 1990, a period in which the federal and state governments expanded Medicaid to reach many more low-income children. It found that every 10-percentage-point increase in likely Medicaid eligibility reduced the high school dropout rate by 0.4 to 0.55 percentage points and raised the college completion rate by 0.6 to 0.8 percentage points.
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