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The Affordable Care Act and College Enrollment Decisions

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  • Juergen Jung

    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

  • Vinish Shrestha

    (Department of Economics, Towson University)

Abstract

We investigate the effect of the extension of the federal dependent coverage mandate for young adults under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on the college enrollment decisions of young Americans. The ACA removes the conditionality that young individuals need to be enrolled as full-time students in order to be able to remain on their parents’ health insurance past the age of 18 and extends the coverage mandate to age 26 irrespective of student status. This expansion of the coverage mandate changes the incentives for the full-time and part-time college enrollment decisions of young individuals. We use panel data from the Survey of Income and Program Participation (SIPP) for the years 2003–2013 and estimate that the dependent coverage expansion under the ACA decreases the probability to enroll as full-time student by 2 to 3 percentage points. Furthermore we find that part-time college enrollment is unaffected by the new policy. The results from a difference-in-differences model are robust to changes in the model specification and become stronger when we increase the sample overlap between treatment and control groups using trimming based on propensity scores.

Suggested Citation

  • Juergen Jung & Vinish Shrestha, 2016. "The Affordable Care Act and College Enrollment Decisions," Working Papers 2016-16, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised May 2017.
  • Handle: RePEc:tow:wpaper:2016-16
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    2. Michael S. Kofoed & Wyatt J. Frasier, 2019. "[Job] Locked and [Un]loaded: The Effect of the Affordable Care Act Dependency Mandate on Reenlistment in the U.S. Army," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 19-300, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Affordable Care Act; dependent health insurance coverage; youth health insurance; occupational choice; educational choice; survey of income and program participation (SIPP).;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C35 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Discrete Regression and Qualitative Choice Models; Discrete Regressors; Proportions
    • I23 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Higher Education; Research Institutions
    • I10 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - General

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