NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Access to Health Insurance and the Use of Inpatient Medical Care: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act Young Adult Mandate

Yaa Akosa Antwi, Asako S. Moriya, Kosali Simon

NBER Working Paper No. 20202
Issued in June 2014
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 expanded coverage to young adults by allowing them to remain on their parent's private health insurance until they turn 26 years old. While there is evidence on insurance effects, we know very little about use of general or specific forms of medical care. We study the implications of the expansion for the use of inpatient hospitalizations. Given the prevalence of mental health needs for young adults, we also specifically study mental health related inpatient care. We find evidence that compared to those aged 27-29 years, treated young adults aged 19-25 years increased their inpatient visits by 3.5 percent. Visits related to mental illness increased 9.0 percent. The prevalence of uninsurance among hospitalized young adults decreased by 12.5 percent; however, it does not appear that the intensity of inpatient treatment changed despite the change in reimbursement composition of patients.

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A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the 2014 number 2 issue of the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health. You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w20202

Published: Akosa Antwi, Yaa & Moriya, Asako S. & Simon, Kosali I., 2015. "Access to health insurance and the use of inpatient medical care: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act young adult mandate," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 39(C), pages 171-187. citation courtesy of

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