What can the take-up of other programs teach us about how to improve take-up of health insurance programs?
, Jason E. Rachlin,
NBER Working Paper No. 8185
Many uninsured Americans are already eligible for free or low-cost public coverage through Medicaid or CHIP but do not take up that coverage. Several other programs, such as food stamps and unemployment insurance, also have less than complete take-up rates and take-up rates vary considerably among programs. This paper examines the take-up literature across a variety of programs to learn what effects non-financial features, such as administrative complexity, have on take-up. We find that making benefit receipt automatic is the most effective means of ensuring high take-up, while there is little evidence that stigma is important. Overall, surprisingly little is known about the quantitative impact, of non-financial characteristics of programs on take-up. New research that could be used to draw measurable causal inferences about how features as administrative complexity, renewal rules, and organizational structure affect participation, would be extremely valuable.
Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w8185
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