Under-Reporting of Medicaid and Welfare in the Current Population Survey
Published May 4, 2005
Conventional estimates of the number of uninsured Californians are derived from the Current Population Survey (CPS). Unfortunately, CPS estimates of the number of people receiving Medi-Cal and welfare (AFDC/CalWORKs) are well below the numbers implied by official Medi-Cal records, suggesting that the conventional estimates of the number of uninsured Californians (and their characteristics) are seriously flawed. To improve understanding of these issues, the California HealthCare Foundation (through its then separate the Medi-Cal Policy Institute-MCPI) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (DHHS-ACF) funded RAND to match CPS data to individual-level administrative data for the Medi-Cal program. With the cooperation of the California Department of Health Services (CDHS), the U.S. Bureau of the Census, and the California Census Research Data Center (CCRDC), that match was performed. This document describes the findings of the analysis of those matched data.