NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
Department of Economics
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481
NBER Working Papers and Publications
|June 2009||Public Policy, Health Insurance and the Transition to Adulthood|
with Phillip B. Levine, Robin McKnight: w15114
This paper assesses the impact of two recent policies designed to increase insurance coverage for older teens and young adults. The introduction of SCHIP in 1997 enabled low and moderate income teens up to age 19 to gain access to public health insurance. More recent policies adopted by a number of states have enabled young adults between the ages of 19 and (typically) 24 to remain covered under their parents' health insurance. We take advantage of the discrete break in coverage at age 19 to evaluate the impact of SCHIP. We also use quasi-experimental variation across states and years along with the targeted nature of eligibility to evaluate the impact of these "extended parental coverage" laws. Our results suggest that both types of policies were effective at increasing health insura...