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Understanding the Rates, Causes, and Costs of Churning in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) (Testimony)
Gregory B. Mills

In this testimony before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture’s Subcommittee on Nutrition, Greg Mills presents research findings on participant churning in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) including the rates, causes and costs of participant churn in SNAP, which occurs when households receiving SNAP exit the program and then re-enter within several months. Findings include that churn rates across the six states that were studied range from 17 to 28 percent for FY 2011 and that the causes of churn are due primarily to procedural difficulties experienced by participants rather than fluctuations in the earnings of SNAP recipients.

Posted to Web: February 26, 2015Publication Date: February 26, 2015

Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex (Research Report)
Meredith Dank, Jennifer Yahner, Kuniko Madden, Isela Banuelos, Lilly Yu, Andrea Ritchie, Mitchyll Mora, Brendan Conner

Based on interviews with 283 youth in New York City, this is the first study to focus on lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer or questioning (LGBTQ) youth; young men who have sex with men (YMSM); and young women who have sex with women (YWSW) who get involved in the commercial sex market in order to meet basic survival needs, such as food or shelter. The report documents these youth’s experiences and characteristics to gain a better understanding of why they engage in survival sex, describes how the support networks and systems in their lives have both helped them and let them down, and makes recommendations for better meeting the needs of this vulnerable population.

Posted to Web: February 25, 2015Publication Date: February 25, 2015

Special Enrollment Periods in 2014: A Study of Select States (Research Report)
Jane B. Wishner, Sandy Ahn, Kevin Lucia, Sarah Gadsden

Analysis of Marketplace enrollment has focused primarily on the initial 2014 open enrollment period. But as the second open enrollment period ends—and as open enrollment periods shorten in future years—special enrollment periods (SEPs) will warrant increasing attention. This paper analyzes the legal framework, limited enrollment data, and first year special enrollment experiences in five State-Based Marketplaces (SBMs) and finds that Marketplace systems and consumer outreach and enrollment efforts did not yet match the significant potential for SEP enrollment. The paper identifies several themes that may help policymakers improve SEP enrollment systems in 2015 and beyond.

Posted to Web: February 25, 2015Publication Date: February 25, 2015

Response to the Heritage Foundation's Criticisms of the Urban Institute's King v. Burwell Analyses (Research Brief)
Linda J. Blumberg, Matthew Buettgens, John Holahan

In January and February 2015, Urban Institute researchers released three papers analyzing the implications of a Supreme Court ruling for the plaintiffs in King v. Burwell. A finding for the plaintiffs would eliminate the premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions currently being provided under the Affordable Care Act in the states where the federal government is playing a role in operating the new nongroup insurance marketplaces established under the law. The Heritage Foundation criticized the validity of some of these estimates, as well as related analyses released by other researchers. Here the UI researchers respond to each of these criticisms.

Posted to Web: February 24, 2015Publication Date: February 24, 2015

National Center for Charitable Statistics Discovers Unauthorized Access to Form 990 and e-Postcard Filing Systems for Nonprofit Organizations (Press Release)
Urban Institute

The Urban Institute’s National Center for Charitable Statistics (NCCS) recently discovered that an unauthorized party or parties gained access to the Form 990 Online and e-Postcard filing systems for nonprofit organizations.

Posted to Web: February 24, 2015Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Certificates of Public Advantage (Research Report)
Randall R. Bovbjerg, Robert A. Berenson

Heath care costs too much, largely because American medical providers command high prices. Waves of mergers have consolidated markets for care and created market power for remaining providers. Antitrust has done too little to prevent the merger frenzy, and policy makers badly need additional tools. This case study highlights one underappreciated alternative, a Certificate of Public Advantage. COPAs are unusual, but one has for nearly two decades overseen the behavior and costs of a merged hospital system in western North Carolina. We detail the accomplishments and shortcomings of this quasi-regulatory public oversight, which is more targeted than full-scale rate regulation.

Posted to Web: February 18, 2015Publication Date: February 18, 2015

Housing Finance At A Glance: A Monthly Chartbook (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
Laurie Goodman, Ellen Seidman, Jim Parrott, Sheryl Pardo, Jun Zhu, Wei Li, Bing Bai, Karan Kaul, Taz George, Maia Woluchem, Alison Rincon

This month's edition of At A Glance, the Housing Finance Policy Center's reference guide for mortgage and housing market data, includes a special quarterly feature on GSE loan composition, repurchase rates, defaults, and loss severity.

Posted to Web: February 17, 2015Publication Date: February 17, 2015

Maternal Depression Associated with Less Healthy Dietary Behaviors in Young Children (Research Report)
Tracy Vericker

Maternal depression threatens the well-being of millions of children in the United States and may increase the risk of child obesity. Poor eating habits may be the link between those two conditions. This research brief suggests that young children with mothers reporting depressive symptoms consume more unhealthy foods and beverages and fewer healthy foods and beverages than children with mothers who do not report depressive symptoms.

Posted to Web: February 17, 2015Publication Date: February 17, 2015

The CUNY Fatherhood Academy: A Qualitative Evaluation (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Margaret Simms, William Monson, Erwin de Leon

Knowing the economic challenges young fathers without postsecondary education face in providing for their families, New York City's Young Men's Initiative launched a fatherhood program housed in LaGuardia Community College in spring 2012. The CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) aims to connect young fathers to academic and employment opportunities while supporting them through parenting classes and workshops. This report summarizes Urban Institute's qualitative evaluation of the program. The evaluation, completed under contract with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, focuses on CFA's design, implementation, and participant outcomes in the four cohorts served between March 2012 and December 2013.

Posted to Web: February 17, 2015Publication Date: February 17, 2015

The CUNY Fatherhood Academy: A Qualitative Evaluation (Research Report)
Marla McDaniel, Margaret Simms, William Monson, Erwin de Leon

Knowing the economic challenges young fathers without postsecondary education face in providing for their families, New York City's Young Men's Initiative launched a fatherhood program housed in LaGuardia Community College in spring 2012. The CUNY Fatherhood Academy (CFA) aims to connect young fathers to academic and employment opportunities while supporting them through parenting classes and workshops. This executive summary provides highlights from Urban Institute's qualitative evaluation of the program. The evaluation, completed under contract with the New York City Center for Economic Opportunity, focuses on CFA's design, implementation, and participant outcomes in the four cohorts served between March 2012 and December 2013.

Posted to Web: February 17, 2015Publication Date: February 17, 2015

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