The Role of Medicaid in Improving Access to Care for Homeless People

Burt, M., and P. Sharkey
Washington, D.C.: The Urban Institute

This report examines the ability of homeless people to get the health care they need. In particular, it asks whether having health insurance increases access to care for homeless people, as it does for the housed population.

Within the general rubric of health care we include treatment for physical health, mental health, and substance abuse problems. We look at two types of health insurance, Medicaid and “other” health insurance, which, for the homeless population, is largely Medicare or veterans health benefits. We also examine other factors that affect receipt of care, including use of homeless assistance services, homeless history, physical and mental health and substance abuse conditions, receipt of public cash benefits, geographic location, and demographic characteristics.

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Wagner Faculty