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The effect of expanding access to health insurance on the health and mortality of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries

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  • Weathers, Robert R.
  • Stegman, Michelle

Abstract

We use a social experiment to estimate the impact of expanding health insurance coverage on the health and mortality of newly entitled SSDI beneficiaries who lacked health insurance. Our intent-to-treat estimates show that expanding health insurance has significant effects on self-reported health at one year following health insurance enrollment, positive effects on mental health and physical health at one year following health insurance enrollment, and no significant effects on mortality within our observation period. About 30% of control group members obtained health insurance coverage within one year following enrollment. We use two-stage least square models to estimate the impact on those who would not have obtained health insurance coverage without the demonstration project and find larger effects on self-reported health and mental health among these SSDI beneficiaries. Finally, we examine distributional impacts to show that mean impacts miss meaningful effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Weathers, Robert R. & Stegman, Michelle, 2012. "The effect of expanding access to health insurance on the health and mortality of Social Security Disability Insurance beneficiaries," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 31(6), pages 863-875.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:31:y:2012:i:6:p:863-875
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2012.08.004
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Marianne P. Bitler & Jonah B. Gelbach & Hilary W. Hoynes, 2006. "What Mean Impacts Miss: Distributional Effects of Welfare Reform Experiments," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(4), pages 988-1012, September.
    2. Blanchflower, David G. & Oswald, Andrew J., 2008. "Hypertension and happiness across nations," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 218-233, March.
    3. David Card & Carlos Dobkin & Nicole Maestas, 2009. "Does Medicare Save Lives?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 124(2), pages 597-636.
    4. repec:mpr:mprres:6035 is not listed on IDEAS
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    6. Amy Finkelstein & Sarah Taubman & Bill Wright & Mira Bernstein & Jonathan Gruber & Joseph P. Newhouse & Heidi Allen & Katherine Baicker, 2012. "The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1057-1106.
    7. repec:mpr:mprres:7005 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. repec:mpr:mprres:7006 is not listed on IDEAS
    9. Finkelstein, Amy & McKnight, Robin, 2008. "What did Medicare do? The initial impact of Medicare on mortality and out of pocket medical spending," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(7), pages 1644-1668, July.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Moore, Timothy J., 2015. "The employment effects of terminating disability benefits," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 124(C), pages 30-43.
    2. Maclean, Johanna Catherine, 2013. "The health effects of leaving school in a bad economy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 951-964.
    3. Michelle Stegman Baily & Robert R. Weathers II, 2014. "The Accelerated Benefits Demonstration: Impacts on the Employment of Disability Insurance Beneficiaries," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 104(5), pages 336-341, May.
    4. Enami, Ali, 2016. "Determinants of Child Mortality in Africa: A Methodological Discussion," MPRA Paper 68671, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Health insurance; Medicare; SSDI; Social experiment; Mortality;

    JEL classification:

    • C90 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - General
    • C93 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments - - - Field Experiments
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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