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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. 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.
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    8. 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.
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    10. 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.
    11. 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. Colleen M. Carey & Sarah Miller & Laura R. Wherry, 2020. "The Impact of Insurance Expansions on the Already Insured: The Affordable Care Act and Medicare," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 12(4), pages 288-318, October.
    2. Xiaoxue Li, 2020. "Quality information disclosure and health insurance demand: evidence from VA hospital report cards," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 20(2), pages 177-199, June.
    3. Yu, Serena & van Gool, Kees & Hall, Jane & Fiebig, Denzil G., 2019. "Physician pricing behavior: Evidence from an Australian experiment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 161(C), pages 20-34.
    4. Sonchak, Lyudmyla, 2015. "Medicaid reimbursement, prenatal care and infant health," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(C), pages 10-24.
    5. 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.
    6. 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.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Medicaid; Take-up; Medicaid payment; Medicaid reimbursement; Access to care;
    All these keywords.

    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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