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Public Insurance and Psychotropic Prescription Medications for Mental Illness

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  • Johanna Catherine Maclean
  • Benjamin L. Cook
  • Nicholas Carson
  • Michael F. Pesko

Abstract

Mental illnesses are prevalent in the United States, and cost is a critical barrier to treatment receipt. We study the effects of recent and major eligibility expansions within Medicaid on psychotropic prescription medications for mental illness. We estimate differences-in-differences models using administrative data on medications for which Medicaid was a third-party payer 2011-2016. Our findings suggest that these expansions increased psychotropic prescriptions by 22% with heterogeneity across psychotropic class and state characteristics that proxy for patient need, expansion scope, and system capacity. We show that Medicaid, and not patients, financed these prescriptions. Finally, we document that mental illness declined.

Suggested Citation

  • Johanna Catherine Maclean & Benjamin L. Cook & Nicholas Carson & Michael F. Pesko, 2017. "Public Insurance and Psychotropic Prescription Medications for Mental Illness," NBER Working Papers 23760, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:23760 Note: AG HC HE
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Courtemanche, Charles & Marton, James & Ukert, Benjamin & Yelowitz, Aaron & Zapata, Daniela, 2017. "Early Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Care Access, Risky Health Behaviors, and Self-Assessed Health," IZA Discussion Papers 10649, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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    7. Kosali Simon & Aparna Soni & John Cawley, 2016. "The Impact of Health Insurance on Preventive Care and Health Behaviors: Evidence from the 2014 ACA Medicaid Expansions," NBER Working Papers 22265, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. repec:eee:jhecon:v:53:y:2017:i:c:p:72-86 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Johanna Catherine Maclean & Michael F. Pesko & Steven C. Hill, 2017. "The Effect of Insurance Expansions on Smoking Cessation Medication Use: Evidence from Recent Medicaid Expansions," NBER Working Papers 23450, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • 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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