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Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health

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  • Janet Currie
  • Jonathan Gruber

Abstract

We study the effect of public insurance for children on their utilization of medical care and health outcomes by exploiting recent expansions of the Medicaid program to low-income children. These expansions doubled the fraction of children eligible for Medicaid between 1984 and 1992. Take-up of these expansions was much less than full, however, even among otherwise uninsured children. Despite this take-up problem, eligibility for Medicaid significantly increased the utilization of medical care, particularly care delivered in physicians' offices. Increased eligibility was also associated with a sizable and significant reduction in child mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1996. "Health Insurance Eligibility, Utilization of Medical Care, and Child Health," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 431-466.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:qjecon:v:111:y:1996:i:2:p:431-466.
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.2307/2946684
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Moffitt, Robert, 1992. "Incentive Effects of the U.S. Welfare System: A Review," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 30(1), pages 1-61, March.
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    5. Hoynes, Hilary Williamson, 1996. "Welfare Transfers in Two-Parent Families: Labor Supply and Welfare Participation under AFDC-UP," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(2), pages 295-332, March.
    6. Janet Currie & Jonathan Gruber, 1994. "Saving Babies: The Efficacy and Cost of Recent Expansions of Medicaid Eligibility for Pregnant Women," NBER Working Papers 4644, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Jonathan Gruber & Jeffrey D. Kubik, 1994. "Disability Insurance Rejection Rates and the Labor Supply of Older Workers," NBER Working Papers 4941, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Rebecca M. Blank & Patricia Ruggles, 1993. "When Do Women Use AFDC & Food Stamps? The Dynamics of Eligibility vs. Participation," NBER Working Papers 4429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. repec:fth:prinin:320 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. David M. Cutler & Jonathan Gruber, 1995. "Does Public Insurance Crowd Out Private Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 5082, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    13. Strauss, J. & Thomas, D., 1995. "Empirical Modeling of Household and Family Decisions," Papers 95-12, RAND - Reprint Series.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health

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