NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year

Amy Finkelstein, Sarah Taubman, Bill Wright, Mira Bernstein, Jonathan Gruber, Joseph P. Newhouse, Heidi Allen, Katherine Baicker, The Oregon Health Study Group

NBER Working Paper No. 17190
Issued in July 2011
NBER Program(s):   AG   HC   PE

In 2008, a group of uninsured low-income adults in Oregon was selected by lottery to be given the chance to apply for Medicaid. This lottery provides a unique opportunity to gauge the effects of expanding access to public health insurance on the health care use, financial strain, and health of low-income adults using a randomized controlled design. In the year after random assignment, the treatment group selected by the lottery was about 25 percentage points more likely to have insurance than the control group that was not selected. We find that in this first year, the treatment group had substantively and statistically significantly higher health care utilization (including primary and preventive care as well as hospitalizations), lower out-of-pocket medical expenditures and medical debt (including fewer bills sent to collection), and better self-reported physical and mental health than the control group.

download in pdf format
   (306 K)

email paper

A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the November 2011 NBER digest.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Digest by email.

The NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health provides summaries of publications like this.  You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

This paper is available as PDF (306 K) or via email.

An online appendix is available for this publication.

Acknowledgments

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Published: Amy Finkelstein & Sarah Taubman & Bill Wright & Mira Bernstein & Jonathan Gruber & Joseph P. Newhouse & Heidi Allen & Katherine Baicker, 2012. "The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1057-1106.

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded these:
Gruber w17168 The Impacts of the Affordable Care Act: How Reasonable Are the Projections?
Kolstad and Kowalski w16012 The Impact of Health Care Reform On Hospital and Preventive Care: Evidence from Massachusetts
Anderson, Dobkin, and Gross w15823 The Effect of Health Insurance Coverage on the Use of Medical Services
Finkelstein w11619 The Aggregate Effects of Health Insurance: Evidence from the Introduction of Medicare
Card, Dobkin, and Maestas w10365 The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Health Care Utilization and Health: Evidence from Medicare
 
Publications
Activities
Meetings
Data
People
About

Support
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email: info@nber.org

Contact Us