State Policy Documentation Project



Notes on the Medicaid Data

The State Policy Documentation Project's Medicaid section provides information on how states have implemented selected Medicaid provisions of the 1996 federal welfare law, including the requirement to "delink" TANF and Medicaid eligibility. Please note that SPDP's goal is to provide information on state policies as they are described in state statutes, regulations and caseworker manuals. It is beyond the scope of the project to determine whether the states’ policies reflect their actual practices.

The Medicaid section addresses:

  • How states have implemented the requirement in the 1996 federal welfare law to replace the automatic eligibility link between welfare and Medicaid with a "family coverage category."
  • Whether states have elected to exercise the option included in the 1996 federal welfare law to terminate the Medicaid coverage of a non-pregnant head of households who is terminated from TANF cash assistance for failure to work.
  • States’ choices around Medicaid coverage of immigrants in light of changes in eligibility rules for immigrants included in the 1996 federal welfare law.

Date of Medicaid Policies

Information on the Medicaid component of SPDP was gathered throughout the fall of 1998 and in early 1999. In the summer of 1999, state officials in all fifty states and the District of Columbia were sent a copy of the tables used to summarize the Medicaid information gathered from the initial survey, and asked to verify it. As of November 1999, officials in all states except for the District of Columbia, Florida, and Vermont have reviewed and verified the information in the tables. In these three states, where officials were unable to review how their states were represented in the tables, the tables reflect information that could be collected about state policies from other sources, including copies of state statutes and regulations, as well as copies of Medicaid state plan amendments.

Although the State Policy Documentation Project has made every effort to assure the accuracy of its data, please note that some states are still in the process of implementing the Medicaid provisions of the 1996 federal welfare law or revising their existing policies. As a result, some of the information may already be outdated. Please send any changes on the Medicaid information to Jocelyn Guyer at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities ([email protected]).


Numerous individuals at the Center on Budget and Policy Priories and the Center for Law and Social Policy have contributed to the State Policy Documentation Project, and to compiling the information that appears in these tables. Among them are Jocelyn Guyer, who compiled the Medicaid information included in these tables; Ed Lazere and Liz Schott, who reviewed the TANF information in these tables; Paula Roberts, who provided information on states’ treatment of child support income under TANF; and Lisa Plimpton, who has overseen much of the State Policy Documentation Project. Special thanks also are due to former Center staff members Kelly Carmody, Cindy Mann, Karen Flores, and Abbie Raikes who played crucial roles in designing the survey used to gather the Medicaid information that appears in these tables or else in collecting the data. Ann Miles Brown and Wendy Burnette also made considerable contributions by preparing the tables for final publication.

It would not have been possible to compile these tables without the extensive assistance of the SPDP reporters and of the state officials in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia who provided information on their Medicaid and TANF eligibility rules. The staff of the SPDP thank them for their patience and for the considerable amount of time they gave to this project. They also thank Elaine Ryan and Lee Partridge with the American Public Human Services Association for the support they have provided to the SPDP.

Financial support for the Medicaid aspect of SPDP was provided by the Center for Health Policy Research (CHPR) at George Washington University. In addition, CHPR researchers Kathleen Malloy, Julie Darnell (no longer with CHPR), and Sarah Rosenbaum made substantial contributions to the survey instrument used to gather much of the data that appears in these tables.


Send e-mail to SPDP: [email protected]
This page last updated September 02, 2023

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