The Effect of Disability Insurance on Health Investment: Evidence from the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Disability Compensation Program
I examine whether individuals respond to monetary incentives to detect latent medical conditions. The effect is identified by a policy that deemed diabetes associated with herbicide exposure a compensable disability under the Veterans Benefits Administration’s Disability Compensation program. Since a diagnosis is a requisite for benefit eligibility, and nearly one-third of diabetics remain undiagnosed, the advent of disability insurance may have encouraged the detection of diabetes among the previously undiagnosed population. Evidence from the National Health Interview Survey suggests that the policy increased the prevalence of diagnosed diabetes by 3.1 percentage points among veterans.
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