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The Value of Medicaid: Interpreting Results from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

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Listed:
  • Amy Finkelstein
  • Nathaniel Hendren
  • Erzo F. P. Luttmer

Abstract

We develop frameworks for welfare analysis of Medicaid and apply them to the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment. Across different approaches, we estimate low-income uninsured adults’ willingness to pay for Medicaid between $0.5 and $1.2 per dollar of the resource cost of providing Medicaid; estimates of the expected transfer Medicaid provides to recipients are relatively stable across approaches, but estimates of its additional value from risk protection are more variable. We also estimate that the resource cost of providing Medicaid to an additional recipient is only 40 percent of Medicaid’s total cost; 60 percent of Medicaid spending is a transfer to providers of uncompensated care for the low-income uninsured.

Suggested Citation

  • Amy Finkelstein & Nathaniel Hendren & Erzo F. P. Luttmer, 2019. "The Value of Medicaid: Interpreting Results from the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 127(6), pages 2836-2874.
  • Handle: RePEc:ucp:jpolec:doi:10.1086/702238
    DOI: 10.1086/702238
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    JEL classification:

    • H51 - Public Economics - - National Government Expenditures and Related Policies - - - Government Expenditures and Health
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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