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The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Health Care Utilization: Evidence from Medicare

Author

Listed:
  • David Card
  • Carlos Dobkin
  • Nicole Maestas

Abstract

The onset of Medicare eligibility at age 65 leads to sharp changes in the health insurance coverage of the US population. These changes lead to increases in the use of medical services, with a pattern of gains across socioeconomic groups that varies by type of service. While routine doctor visits increase more for groups that previously lacked insurance, hospital admissions for relatively expensive procedures like bypass surgery and joint replacement increase more for previously insured groups that are more likely to have supplementary coverage after 65, reflecting the relative generosity of their combined insurance package under Medicare. (JEL I11, I18)

Suggested Citation

  • David Card & Carlos Dobkin & Nicole Maestas, 2008. "The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Health Care Utilization: Evidence from Medicare," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(5), pages 2242-2258, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:98:y:2008:i:5:p:2242-58
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/aer.98.5.2242
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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