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Did the ACA's Dependent Coverage Mandate Reduce Financial Distress for Young Adults?


  • Nathan Blascak
  • Vyacheslav Mikhed


We analyze whether the passage of the Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage mandate in 2010 reduced financial distress for young adults. U sing nationally representative, anonymized consumer credit report information, we find that young adults covered by the mandate lowered their past due debt, had fewer delinquencies, and had a reduced probability of filing for bankruptcy. These effects are stronger in geographic areas that experienced higher uninsured rates for young adults prior to the mandate's implementation. Our estimates also show that some improvements are transitory because they diminish after an individual ages out of the mandate at age 26.

Suggested Citation

  • Nathan Blascak & Vyacheslav Mikhed, 2018. "Did the ACA's Dependent Coverage Mandate Reduce Financial Distress for Young Adults?," Working Papers 18-3, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
  • Handle: RePEc:fip:fedpwp:18-3

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    Cited by:

    1. Alaina Barca & Larry Santucci & Leigh-Ann Schultz, 2022. "Foreclosure Kids: Examining the Early Adult Credit Usage of Adolescents Affected by Foreclosure," Working Papers 22-21, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia.
    2. Argys, Laura M. & Friedson, Andrew I. & Pitts, M. Melinda & Tello-Trillo, D. Sebastian, 2020. "Losing public health insurance: TennCare reform and personal financial distress," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 187(C).
    3. Fone, Zachary S. & Friedson, Andrew I. & Lipton, Brandy & Sabia, Joseph J., 2020. "The Dependent Coverage Mandate Took a Bite Out of Crime," IZA Discussion Papers 12968, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    4. Panchalingam, Thadchaigeni, 2020. "Effects of Public Health Insurance Expansions on Consumption Expenditures of Targeted Households," 2020 Annual Meeting, July 26-28, Kansas City, Missouri 304513, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.

    More about this item


    Affordable Care Act; health insurance; consumer credit; financial distress;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D14 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Household Saving; Personal Finance
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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