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Health Insurance and Young Adults’ Avoidable Hospitalizations: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Mandate

  • 2018.07.27
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Speaker: Dr. Yanling Qi (California State University)

Topic:

Health Insurance and Young Adults’ Avoidable Hospitalizations: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Mandate
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Time&Date:?

? 12:00pm-13:30pm, 2018/8/2

Venue:

? Room A619, Teaching A

Speaker:

?Dr. Yanling Qi (California State University)
Abstract:
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law with the goal of achieving nearly universal health insurance coverage. One of the first provisions to take effect targeted young adults, whose eligibility for dependent coverage under their parents’ private insurance plans was extended until the age of 26. I explore the impact of this expansion on young adults’ avoidable hospitalizations. I first derive a conceptual model of avoidable hospitalizations to decompose impacts from ACA dependent coverage into an access effect, efficiency effect, and ex ante moral hazard effect. I then use a difference-in-differences approach and years 2002-2011 of the HCUP National Inpatient Sample (NIS) – a 20 percent sample of the universe of inpatient hospital discharges across the United States – to examine the impact of this policy change on avoidable hospitalizations for young adults. I find an increase in the avoidable hospitalizations, especially for those associated with chronic health conditions after the coverage expansion. This suggests that the access effect and the ex ante moral hazard effect dominate the efficiency effect from my conceptual model. In other words, the lower out-of-pocket prices of avoidable hospitalizations and the reduced costs of risky health behaviors outweigh any improvements in the quality of primary care.

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