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Uninsurance and Purchases of Prescription Drugs with High Rates of Misuse: Evidence from the Federal Dependent Coverage Mandate

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  • DiNardi, Michael

Abstract

Prescription central nervous system depressants, opioid pain relievers, and stimulants provide therapeutic value, but misuse for their recreational value is a growing problem in the United States. Because health insurance lowers the cost of purchasing prescription drugs, losing coverage may cause individuals to forgo treatment and decrease prescription drug consumption which could reduce health and increase the likelihood of overdose and death if individuals substitute to using illicit drugs. Using a regression discontinuity design, I estimate the effect of aging out of the federal dependent coverage mandate at age 26 on legal purchases of prescription central nervous system depressants, opioids, and stimulants. Individuals are 0.8-1 percentage points less likely to purchase a prescription central nervous system depressant and 1-2.6 percentage point less likely to purchase a prescription opioid after turning 26. These effects are strongest for women, while estimated effects for men are generally negative but imprecise.

Suggested Citation

  • DiNardi, Michael, 2019. "Uninsurance and Purchases of Prescription Drugs with High Rates of Misuse: Evidence from the Federal Dependent Coverage Mandate," MPRA Paper 97769, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  • Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:97769
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    2. Barbaresco, Silvia & Courtemanche, Charles J. & Qi, Yanling, 2015. "Impacts of the Affordable Care Act dependent coverage provision on health-related outcomes of young adults," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(C), pages 54-68.
    3. Yaa Akosa Antwi & Asako S. Moriya & Kosali Simon, 2013. "Effects of Federal Policy to Insure Young Adults: Evidence from the 2010 Affordable Care Act's Dependent-Coverage Mandate," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 5(4), pages 1-28, November.
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    6. Dahlen, H.M., 2015. ""Aging out" of dependent coverage and the effects on us labor market and health insurance choices," American Journal of Public Health, American Public Health Association, vol. 105, pages 640-650.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    health insurance; prescription drugs; substance abuse;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private
    • I19 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Other

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