NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Benjamin Sommers

Harvard T.H. Chan School of
Public Health
Department of Health Policy
and Management
677 Huntington Avenue
Kresge 406
Boston, MA 02115

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

January 2017The Effect of State Medicaid Expansions on Prescription Drug Use: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act
with Ausmita Ghosh, Kosali Simon: w23044
This study provides a national analysis of how the 2014 Affordable Care Act (ACA) Medicaid expansions have affected aggregate prescription drug utilization. Given the prominent role of prescription medications in the management of chronic conditions, as well as the high prevalence of unmet health care needs in the population newly eligible for Medicaid, the use of prescription drugs represents an important measure of the ACA’s policy impact. Prescription drug utilization also provides insights into whether insurance expansions have increased access to physicians, since obtaining these medications requires interaction with a health care provider. We use 2013-2015 data from a large, nationally representative, all-payer pharmacy transactions database to examine effects on overall prescription...
April 2016Premium Subsidies, the Mandate, and Medicaid Expansion: Coverage Effects of the Affordable Care Act
with Molly Frean, Jonathan Gruber: w22213
Using premium subsidies for private coverage, an individual mandate, and Medicaid expansion, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased insurance coverage. We provide the first comprehensive assessment of these provisions’ effects, using the 2012-2015 American Community Survey and a triple-difference estimation strategy that exploits variation by income, geography, and time. Overall, our model explains 60% of the coverage gains in 2014-2015. We find that coverage was moderately responsive to price subsidies, with larger gains in state-based insurance exchanges than the federal exchange. The individual mandate’s exemptions and penalties had little impact on coverage rates. The law increased Medicaid among individuals gaining eligibility under the ACA and among previously-eligible populatio...

Published: Molly Frean & Jonathan Gruber & Benjamin D. Sommers, 2017. "Premium subsidies, the mandate, and Medicaid expansion: Coverage effects of the Affordable Care Act," Journal of Health Economics, vol 53, pages 72-86.

 
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