NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Michael T. French

Professor of Health Economics
University of Miami
Department of Sociology
5202 University Drive, Merrick Building, Room 121
P.O. Box 248162
Coral Gables, FL 33124-2030
Tel: 305/284-6039
Fax: 305/284-5310

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2017Health Insurance and Traffic Fatalities: The Effects of Substance Use Disorder Parity Laws
with Ioana Popovici, Johanna Catherine Maclean: w23388
Each year, approximately 10,000 individuals die in alcohol-impaired traffic crashes in the United States, while psychoactive drugs are involved in 20% of all fatal traffic crashes. In this study, we investigate whether state-specific parity laws for substance use disorder (SUD) treatment have the added benefit of reducing traffic fatalities. Parity laws compel insurers to generously cover SUD treatment in private markets, thereby reducing the financial costs of and increasing access to treatment for beneficiaries. We employ 23 years of administrative data from the Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS) coupled with a differences-in-differences design to investigate the potential spillover effects of parity laws to traffic safety. Our findings indicate that passage of a parity law reduce...
 
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