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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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    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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