The Effect of Health Insurance on Near-Elderly Health and Mortality
Bernard S. Black
Northwestern University - School of Law; Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management; European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)
Northwestern University, Department of Economics
Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Department of Economics
Northwestern University - School of Law
Northwestern Law & Econ Research Paper 12-09
We use the best available longitudinal dataset, the Health and Retirement Survey, and a battery of causal inference methods to provide both central estimates and bounds on the effect of health insurance on health and mortality among the near elderly (initial age 50-61) over an 18-year period. Those uninsured in 1992 consume fewer healthcare services, but are not less healthy and, in our central estimates, do not die sooner than their insured counterparts. We discuss why a zero average effect of uninsurance on mortality and health is plausible, some selection effects that might explain our full results, and methodological concerns with prior studies.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 60
Keywords: health insurance, Medicare, healthcare utilization
JEL Classification: H51, I12, I18, K32working papers series
Date posted: July 16, 2012 ; Last revised: March 7, 2014
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