Benjamin L. Cook
Cambridge Health Alliance
1035 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02141
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|August 2017||Public Insurance and Psychotropic Prescription Medications for Mental Illness|
with Johanna Catherine Maclean, Nicholas Carson, Michael F. Pesko: w23760
Mental illnesses are prevalent in the United States and globally, and cost is a critical barrier to treatment receipt for many afflicted individuals. Affordable insurance coverage can permit access to effective healthcare services and treatment of mental illnesses. We study the effects of recent and major eligibility expansions within Medicaid, a pubic insurance system in the U.S. that finances healthcare services for the poor, on psychotropic medications prescribed in outpatient settings. To this end, we estimate differences-in-differences models using administrative data on medications prescribed in outpatient settings for which Medicaid was a third-party payer between 2011 and 2016. Our findings suggest that these expansions increased psychotropic prescriptions by 22% with substantial h...