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The Effect of Medicaid Physician Fees on Take-up of Public Health Insurance among Children in Poverty

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  • Youjin Hahn

Abstract

I investigate how changes in fees paid to Medicaid physicians affect take-up among children in low-income families. The existing literature suggests that the low level of Medicaid fee payments to physicians reduces their willingness to see Medicaid patients, thus creating an access-to-care problem for these patients. For the identical service, current Medicaid reimbursement rates are only about 65 percent of those covered by Medicare. Increasing the relative payments of Medicaid would increase its perceived value, as it would provide better access to health care for Medicaid beneficiaries. Using variation in the timing of the changes in Medicaid payment across states, I find that increasing Medicaid generosity is associated with both an increase in take-up and a reduction in uninsured rate. These results provide a partial answer to the puzzling question of why many low-income children who are eligible for Medicaid remain uninsured.

Suggested Citation

  • Youjin Hahn, 2012. "The Effect of Medicaid Physician Fees on Take-up of Public Health Insurance among Children in Poverty," Monash Economics Working Papers 29-12, Monash University, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mos:moswps:2012-29
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. 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.
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    4. Currie, Janet & Gruber, Jonathan & Fischer, Michael, 1995. "Physician Payments and Infant Mortality: Evidence from Medicaid Fee Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(2), pages 106-111, May.
    5. Jonathan Gruber & Kathleen Adams & Joseph P. Newhouse, 1997. "Physician Fee Policy and Medicaid Program Costs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 611-634.
    6. Levine Phillip B & Schanzenbach Diane, 2009. "The Impact of Children's Public Health Insurance Expansions on Educational Outcomes," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, pages 1-28.
    7. Laurence C. Baker & Anne Beeson Royalty, 2000. "Medicaid Policy, Physician Behavior, and Health Care for the Low-Income Population," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 35(3), pages 480-502.
    8. 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.
    9. Anna Aizer, 2007. "Public Health Insurance, Program Take-Up, and Child Health," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(3), pages 400-415, August.
    10. Long, Stephen H. & Settle, Russell F. & Stuart, Bruce C., 1986. "Reimbursement and access to physicians' services under Medicaid," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 5(3), pages 235-251, September.
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    12. Sandra Decker, 2007. "Medicaid physician fees and the quality of medical care of Medicaid patients in the USA," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 95-112, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Sonchak, Lyudmyla, 2015. "Medicaid reimbursement, prenatal care and infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 10-24.
    2. 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.
    3. Julie Janssens & Natascha Van Mechelen, 2017. "Who is to Blame? An Overview of the Factors Contributing to the Non-Take-Up of Social Rights," Working Papers 1708, Herman Deleeck Centre for Social Policy, University of Antwerp.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medicaid; Take-up; Medicaid payment; Medicaid reimbursement; Access to care;

    JEL classification:

    • I11 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Analysis of Health Care Markets
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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