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Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility

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  • Laura R. Wherry
  • Bruce D. Meyer

Abstract

We examine the immediate and longer-term mortality effects of public health insurance eligibility during childhood. Our identification exploits expansions in Medicaid eligibility that applied only to children born after September 30, 1983. This feature resulted in a large discontinuity in the cumulative years of eligibility of children at this birth date cutoff. Under the expansions, black children gained twice the years of Medicaid eligibility as white children. We find a later-life decline in the rate of disease-related mortality for black cohorts born after the cutoff. We find no evidence of a similar mortality improvement for white children.

Suggested Citation

  • Laura R. Wherry & Bruce D. Meyer, 2016. "Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 556-588.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:51:y:2016:i:3:p:556-588
    Note: DOI: doi:10.3368/jhr.51.3.0913-5918R1
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    1. James Marton & Aaron Yelowitz, 2015. "Health insurance generosity and conditional coverage: Evidence from medicaid managed care in Kentucky," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 82(2), pages 535-555, October.
    2. Laura R. Wherry & Bruce D. Meyer, 2016. "Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 556-588.
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    10. Laura R. Wherry & Sarah Miller & Robert Kaestner & Bruce D. Meyer, 2018. "Childhood Medicaid Coverage and Later-Life Health Care Utilization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 287-302, May.
    11. Lo Sasso, Anthony T. & Buchmueller, Thomas C., 2004. "The effect of the state children's health insurance program on health insurance coverage," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 23(5), pages 1059-1082, September.
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    14. Dolores De La Mata, 2012. "The Effect Of Medicaid Eligibility On Coverage, Utilization, And Children'S Health," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(9), pages 1061-1079, September.
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    16. Case, Anne & Fertig, Angela & Paxson, Christina, 2005. "The lasting impact of childhood health and circumstance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 365-389, March.
    17. David W. Brown & Amanda E. Kowalski & Ithai Z. Lurie, 2015. "Medicaid as an Investment in Children: What is the Long-Term Impact on Tax Receipts?," NBER Working Papers 20835, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Douglas Almond & Janet Currie & Valentina Duque, 2018. "Childhood Circumstances and Adult Outcomes: Act II," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 56(4), pages 1360-1446, December.
    2. Marianne P. Bitler & Madeline Zavodny, 2014. "Medicaid: A Review of the Literature," NBER Working Papers 20169, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Rossin-Slater, Maya & Wüst, Miriam, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool? Long-Term Impacts and Interactions with a Health Intervention," IZA Discussion Papers 10254, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Hilary Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach & Douglas Almond, 2016. "Long-Run Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 106(4), pages 903-934, April.
    5. Chloe N. East & Sarah Miller & Marianne Page & Laura R. Wherry, 2017. "Multi-generational Impacts of Childhood Access to the Safety Net: Early Life Exposure to Medicaid and the Next Generation’s Health," NBER Working Papers 23810, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Tzu-Ting Yang & Hsing-Wen Han & Hsien-Ming Lien, 2014. "Patient Cost-Sharing and Healthcare Utilization in Early Childhood: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," Working Papers 14C003, Canadian Centre for Health Economics.
    7. Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt, 2016. "Mortality Inequality: The Good News from a County-Level Approach," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 30(2), pages 29-52, Spring.
    8. Maya Rossin-Slater & Miriam Wüst, 2016. "What is the Added Value of Preschool for Poor Children? Long-Term and Intergenerational Impacts and Interactions with an Infant Health Intervention," NBER Working Papers 22700, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Thomas Buchmueller & John C. Ham & Lara D. Shore-Sheppard, 2015. "The Medicaid Program," NBER Chapters,in: Economics of Means-Tested Transfer Programs in the United States, Volume 1, pages 21-136 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. repec:tpr:restat:v:100:y:2018:i:2:p:287-302 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Leah K. Lakdawala & David Simon, 2016. "The Intergenerational Consequences of Tobacco Policy," Working papers 2016-27, University of Connecticut, Department of Economics.
    12. Étienne Gaudette & Gwyn C. Pauley & Julie Zissimopoulos, 2016. "Long-term Individual and Population Consequences of Early-life Access to Health Insurance," Working Papers wp355, University of Michigan, Michigan Retirement Research Center.
    13. repec:eee:jhecon:v:63:y:2019:i:c:p:100-113 is not listed on IDEAS
    14. repec:spr:jopoec:v:32:y:2019:i:2:d:10.1007_s00148-018-0714-z is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Thompson, Owen, 2017. "The long-term health impacts of Medicaid and CHIP," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 26-40.
    16. repec:bla:coecpo:v:36:y:2018:i:1:p:7-23 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Michael Baker & Janet Currie & Hannes Schwandt, 2017. "Mortality Inequality in Canada and the U.S.: Divergent or Convergent Trends?," NBER Working Papers 23514, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Laura R. Wherry & Sarah Miller & Robert Kaestner & Bruce D. Meyer, 2018. "Childhood Medicaid Coverage and Later-Life Health Care Utilization," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 100(2), pages 287-302, May.
    19. repec:bin:bpeajo:v:49:y:2019:i:2018-01:p:89-150 is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Laura R. Wherry & Bruce D. Meyer, 2016. "Saving Teens: Using a Policy Discontinuity to Estimate the Effects of Medicaid Eligibility," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 51(3), pages 556-588.
    21. Hilary W. Hoynes & Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, 2018. "Safety Nets Investments in Children," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 49(1 (Spring), pages 89-150.
    22. Michael Levere & Sean Orzol & Lindsey Leininger & Nancy Early, "undated". "Contemporaneous and Long-Term Effects of Children's Public Health Insurance Expansions on Supplemental Security Income Participation," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 92d140d1a39741c481c4630bb, Mathematica Policy Research.
    23. Andrew Goodman-Bacon, 2016. "The Long-Run Effects of Childhood Insurance Coverage: Medicaid Implementation, Adult Health, and Labor Market Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 22899, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I14 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health and Inequality

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