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What can the take-up of other programs teach us about how to improve take-up of health insurance programs?

Author

Listed:
  • Dahlia K. Remler
  • Jason E. Rachlin
  • Sherry A. Glied

Abstract

Many uninsured Americans are already eligible for free or low-cost public coverage through Medicaid or CHIP but do not take up that coverage. Several other programs, such as food stamps and unemployment insurance, also have less than complete take-up rates and take-up rates vary considerably among programs. This paper examines the take-up literature across a variety of programs to learn what effects non-financial features, such as administrative complexity, have on take-up. We find that making benefit receipt automatic is the most effective means of ensuring high take-up, while there is little evidence that stigma is important. Overall, surprisingly little is known about the quantitative impact, of non-financial characteristics of programs on take-up. New research that could be used to draw measurable causal inferences about how features as administrative complexity, renewal rules, and organizational structure affect participation, would be extremely valuable.

Suggested Citation

  • Dahlia K. Remler & Jason E. Rachlin & Sherry A. Glied, 2001. "What can the take-up of other programs teach us about how to improve take-up of health insurance programs?," NBER Working Papers 8185, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8185
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Bargain, Olivier & Immervoll, Herwig & Viitamäki, Heikki, 2007. "How Tight Are Safety-Nets in Nordic Countries? Evidence from Finnish Register Data," IZA Discussion Papers 3004, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Jonathan Gruber, 2008. "Covering the Uninsured in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 13758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    4. David W. Emmons & Eva Madly & Stephen A. Woodbury, 2005. "Refundable Tax Credits for Health Insurance: The Sensitivity of Simulated Impacts to Assumed Behavior," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 05-119, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
    5. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 2004. "The Determinants of Participation in a Social Program: Evidence from a Prototypical Job Training Program," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 22(2), pages 243-298, April.
    6. 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.
    7. repec:dau:papers:123456789/9715 is not listed on IDEAS
    8. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2018. "Optimal Progressive Income Taxation in a Bewley-Grossman Framework," ANU Working Papers in Economics and Econometrics 2018-662, Australian National University, College of Business and Economics, School of Economics.
    9. Ann Dryden Witte & Magaly Queralt, 2002. "Take-Up Rates and Trade Offs After the Age of Entitlement: Some Thoughts and Empirical Evidence for Child Care Subsidies," NBER Working Papers 8886, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. Anna Aizer, 2003. "Got Health? Advertising, Medicaid and Child Health," Working Papers 2003-20, Brown University, Department of Economics.
    11. Anna Aizer, 2003. "Low Take-Up in Medicaid: Does Outreach Matter and for Whom?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 238-241, May.
    12. Sophie Guthmuller & Florence Jusot & Jérôme Wittwer, 2014. "Improving Takeup of Health Insurance Program: A Social Experiment in France," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 49(1), pages 167-194.
    13. 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.
    14. repec:eee:eecrev:v:100:y:2017:i:c:p:428-462 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2016. "Market Inefficiency, Insurance Mandate and Welfare: U.S. Health Care Reform 2010," Review of Economic Dynamics, Elsevier for the Society for Economic Dynamics, vol. 20, pages 132-159, April.
    16. Jung, Juergen & Tran, Chung & Chambers, Matthew, 2017. "Aging and health financing in the U.S.: A general equilibrium analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 100(C), pages 428-462.
    17. Kroft, Kory, 2008. "Takeup, social multipliers and optimal social insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 92(3-4), pages 722-737, April.
    18. Alan C. Monheit & Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 2006. "Health Insurance Enrollment Decisions: Preferences for Coverage, Worker Sorting, and Insurance Take Up," NBER Working Papers 12429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Juergen Jung & Chung Tran, 2017. "Optimal Progressive Income Taxation in a Bewley-Grossman Framework," Working Papers 2017-01, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised Apr 2018.

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    JEL classification:

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

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