PMCCPMCCPMCC

Search tips
Search criteria 

Advanced

 
Logo of pubhealthrepLink to Publisher's site
 
Public Health Rep. 1995 Jan-Feb; 110(1): 27–34.
PMCID: PMC1382070

Savings achieved by giving WIC benefits to women prenatally.

Abstract

The Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) provides supplemental food, nutrition and health education, and social services referral to pregnant, breastfeeding, and post-partum women, and their infants and young children who are both low-income and at nutritional risk. A number of statistically controlled evaluations that compared prenatal women who received WIC services with demographically similar women who did not receive WIC services have found WIC enrollment associated with decreased levels of low birth weight among enrolled women's infants. Several also have found lower overall maternal and infant hospital costs among women who had received prenatal WIC services compared with similar women who did not receive prenatal WIC services. A meta-analysis of the studies shows that providing WIC benefits to pregnant women is estimated to reduce low birth weight rates 25 percent and reduce very low birth weight births by 44 percent. Using these data to estimate costs, prenatal WIC enrollment is estimated to have reduced first year medical costs for U.S. infants by $1.19 billion in 1992. Savings from a reduction in estimated Medicaid expenditures in the first year post-partum more than offset the cost of the Federal prenatal WIC Program. Even using more conservative assumptions, providing prenatal WIC benefits was cost-beneficial. Because of the estimated program cost-savings, the U.S. General Accounting Office has recommended that all pregnant women at or below 185 percent of Federal poverty level be eligible for the program.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.5M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Silverman PJ. Chained and tandem fixed-interval schedules of punishment. J Exp Anal Behav. 1971 Jul;16(1):1–13. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Hayhurst ER, Dysart NC. INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE AND OCCUPATIONAL DISEASES. Am J Public Health (N Y) 1924 Feb;14(2):163–166. [PubMed]
  • Kennedy ET, Gershoff S, Reed R, Austin JE. Evaluation of the effect of WIC supplemental feeding on birth weight. J Am Diet Assoc. 1982 Mar;80(3):220–227. [PubMed]
  • Kennedy ET, Kotelchuck M. The effect of WIC supplemental feeding on birth weight: a case-control analysis. Am J Clin Nutr. 1984 Sep;40(3):579–585. [PubMed]
  • Kotelchuck M, Schwartz JB, Anderka MT, Finison KS. WIC participation and pregnancy outcomes: Massachusetts Statewide Evaluation Project. Am J Public Health. 1984 Oct;74(10):1086–1092. [PubMed]
  • Metcoff J, Costiloe P, Crosby WM, Dutta S, Sandstead HH, Milne D, Bodwell CE, Majors SH. Effect of food supplementation (WIC) during pregnancy on birth weight. Am J Clin Nutr. 1985 May;41(5):933–947. [PubMed]
  • Rush D, Kurzon MR, Seaver WB, Shanklin DS. The National WIC Evaluation: evaluation of the Special Supplemental Food Program for Women, Infants, and Children. VII. Study of food expenditures. Am J Clin Nutr. 1988 Aug;48(2 Suppl):512–519. [PubMed]
  • Schramm WF. WIC prenatal participation and its relationship to newborn Medicaid costs in Missouri: a cost/benefit analysis. Am J Public Health. 1985 Aug;75(8):851–857. [PubMed]
  • Schramm WF. Prenatal participation in WIC related to Medicaid costs for Missouri newborns: 1982 update. Public Health Rep. 1986 Nov-Dec;101(6):607–615. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Stockbauer JW. Evaluation of the Missouri WIC program: prenatal components. J Am Diet Assoc. 1986 Jan;86(1):61–67. [PubMed]
  • Stockbauer JW. WIC prenatal participation and its relation to pregnancy outcomes in Missouri: a second look. Am J Public Health. 1987 Jul;77(7):813–818. [PubMed]
  • Torres A, Kenney AM. Expanding Medicaid coverage for pregnant women: estimates of the impact and cost. Fam Plann Perspect. 1989 Jan-Feb;21(1):19–24. [PubMed]
  • Howell EM, Ellwood MR. Medicaid and pregnancy: issues in expanding eligibility. Fam Plann Perspect. 1991 May-Jun;23(3):123–128. [PubMed]
  • Fam AG, Paton TW, Chaiton A. Reinstitution of allopurinol therapy for gouty arthritis after cutaneous reactions. Can Med Assoc J. 1980 Jul 19;123(2):128–129. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Buescher PA, Roth MS, Williams D, Goforth CM. An evaluation of the impact of maternity care coordination on Medicaid birth outcomes in North Carolina. Am J Public Health. 1991 Dec;81(12):1625–1629. [PubMed]

Articles from Public Health Reports are provided here courtesy of Association of Schools of Public Health