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Access to health insurance and the use of inpatient medical care: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act young adult mandate

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Listed:
  • Akosa Antwi, Yaa
  • Moriya, Asako S.
  • Simon, Kosali I.

Abstract

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded coverage to young adults by allowing them to remain on their parent's private health insurance until they turn 26 years old. While there is evidence on insurance effects, we know very little about use of general or specific forms of medical care. We study the implications of the expansion on inpatient hospitalizations. Given the prevalence of mental health needs for young adults, we also specifically study mental health related inpatient care. We find evidence that compared to those aged 27–29 years, treated young adults aged 19–25 years increased their inpatient visits by 3.5 percent while mental illness visits increased 9.0 percent. The prevalence of uninsurance among hospitalized young adults decreased by 12.5 percent; however, it does not appear that the intensity of inpatient treatment changed despite the change in reimbursement composition of patients.

Suggested Citation

  • Akosa Antwi, Yaa & Moriya, Asako S. & Simon, Kosali I., 2015. "Access to health insurance and the use of inpatient medical care: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act young adult mandate," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 171-187.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jhecon:v:39:y:2015:i:c:p:171-187
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2014.11.007
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Affordable Care Act; Health insurance regulation; Inpatient medical care; Access to health insurance; Young adults; Mental health care;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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