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Health Insurance and Mortality: Experimental Evidence from Taxpayer Outreach

Author

Listed:
  • Jacob Goldin
  • Ithai Z. Lurie
  • Janet McCubbin

Abstract

We evaluate a randomized pilot study in which the IRS sent informational letters to 3.9 million taxpayers who paid a tax penalty for lacking health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Drawing on administrative data, we study the effect of the intervention on taxpayers’ subsequent health insurance enrollment and mortality. We find the intervention led to increased coverage in the two years following treatment and that this additional coverage reduced mortality among middle-aged adults over the same time period. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that health insurance reduces mortality.

Suggested Citation

  • Jacob Goldin & Ithai Z. Lurie & Janet McCubbin, 2019. "Health Insurance and Mortality: Experimental Evidence from Taxpayer Outreach," NBER Working Papers 26533, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:26533
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
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    14. Benjamin R. Handel, 2013. "Adverse Selection and Inertia in Health Insurance Markets: When Nudging Hurts," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(7), pages 2643-2682, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Malani, Anup & Holtzman, Phoebe & Imai, Kosuke & Kinnan, Cynthia & Miller, Morgen & Swaminathan, Shailender & Voena, Alessandra & Woda, Bartosz & Conti, Gabriella, 2021. "Effect of Health Insurance in India: A Randomized Controlled Trial," IZA Discussion Papers 14913, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    2. Jason Abaluck & Mauricio Caceres Bravo & Peter Hull: & Amanda Starc, 2021. "Mortality Effects and Choice Across Private Health Insurance Plans," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 136(3), pages 1557-1610.
    3. Lindsey Rose Bullinger & Sebastian Tello-Trillo, 2021. "Connecting Medicaid and child support: evidence from the TennCare disenrollment," Review of Economics of the Household, Springer, vol. 19(3), pages 785-812, September.
    4. Borgschulte, Mark & Vogler, Jacob, 2020. "Did the ACA Medicaid expansion save lives?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(C).
    5. Lindsey Rose Bullinger, 2021. "Child Support and the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 40(1), pages 42-77, January.
    6. Chaoran Chen & Zhigang Feng & Jiaying Gu, 2022. "Health, Health Insurance, and Inequality," Working Papers tecipa-730, University of Toronto, Department of Economics.
    7. Jonathan Gruber & Benjamin D. Sommers, 2020. "Fiscal Federalism and the Budget Impacts of the Affordable Care Act's Medicaid Expansion," NBER Working Papers 26862, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Naoki Aizawa & You Suk Kim, 2020. "Public and Private Provision of Information in Market-Based Public Programs: Evidence from Advertising in Health Insurance Marketplaces," NBER Working Papers 27695, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Seonghoon Kim & Kanghyock Koh, 2022. "Health insurance and subjective well‐being: Evidence from two healthcare reforms in the United States," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 31(1), pages 233-249, January.
    10. Jacob Vogler, 2020. "Access to Healthcare and Criminal Behavior: Evidence from the ACA Medicaid Expansions," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 39(4), pages 1166-1213, September.
    11. Jalil, Andrew J. & Tasoff, Joshua & Bustamante, Arturo Vargas, 2020. "Eating to save the planet: Evidence from a randomized controlled trial using individual-level food purchase data," Food Policy, Elsevier, vol. 95(C).

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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • H2 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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