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American Economic Journal: Economic Policy: Vol. 3 No. 1 (February 2011)

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How Effective Are Public Policies to Increase Health Insurance Coverage among Young Adults?

Article Citation

Levine, Phillip B., Robin McKnight, and Samantha Heep. 2011. "How Effective Are Public Policies to Increase Health Insurance Coverage among Young Adults?" American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 3(1): 129-56.

DOI: 10.1257/pol.3.1.129

Abstract

This paper assesses the impact of policies to increase insurance coverage for young adults. The introduction of SCHIP in 1997 enabled low-income teens up to age 19 to gain access to public health insurance. More recent policies enabled young adults between the ages of 19 and (typically) 24 to remain covered under their parents' health insurance. We use the discrete break in coverage at age 19 to evaluate the impact of SCHIP, and quasi-experimental variation to evaluate the impact of "extended parental coverage" laws. Our results suggest that both types of policies were effective at increasing health insurance coverage. (JEL G22, H75, I18, J13)

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Authors

Levine, Phillip B. (Wellesley College)
McKnight, Robin (Wellesley College)
Heep, Samantha (Wellesley College)

JEL Classifications

G22: Insurance; Insurance Companies
H75: State and Local Government: Health; Education; Welfare; Public Pensions
I18: Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
J13: Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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