Lifetime Individual and Population Consequences of Early-life Access to Health Insurance with Étienne Gaudette & Julie Zissimopoulos

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Date and Time: 
Thursday, November 10, 2016
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Speaker: 
Gwyn Pauley
Schaeffer Center, USC
Abstract: 

Gaining access to health insurance in childhood has been associated with improved childhood health and educational attainment. Expansions in health insurance access have steadily lowered the rates of uninsured children and may have long term consequences for adult health and wellbeing. This paper analyzes the lifetime impact of gaining health insurance in childhood on health and economic outcomes during adulthood using dynamic microsimulation. We find disease prevalence at age 65 falls for most chronic conditions, with the exception of cancer. We also find increased access to health insurance in childhood results in 11 additional months of life expectancy and 16 additional months lived free of disability. While there is no change in total lifetime medical spending, both Medicaid and Medicare expenditures fall. Lifetime earnings increase by about 8% for individuals who gain the benefits of childhood health insurance, and the receipt of Disability Insurance falls throughout the entire lifecycle.