Has Public Health Insurance for Older Children Reduced Disparities in Access to Care and Health Outcomes?

36 Pages Posted: 16 Jul 2008 Last revised: 24 Sep 2022

See all articles by Janet Currie

Janet Currie

Princeton University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Sandra L. Decker

International Longevity Center; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Wanchuan Lin

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management

Date Written: July 2008

Abstract

This paper investigates the effects of expanding public health insurance eligibility for older children. Using data from the National Health Interview Surveys from 1986 to 2005, we first show that although income continues to be an important predictor of children's health status, the importance of income for predicting health has fallen for children 9 to 17 in recent years. We then investigate the extent to which the dramatic expansions in public health insurance coverage for these children in the past decade are responsible for the decline in the importance of income. We find that while eligibility for public health insurance unambiguously improves current utilization of preventive care, it has little effect on current health status. However, we find some evidence that Medicaid eligibility in early childhood has positive effects on future health. This may indicate that adequate medical care early on puts children on a better health trajectory, resulting in better health as they grow.

Suggested Citation

Currie, Janet and Decker, Sandra L. and Lin, Wanchuan, Has Public Health Insurance for Older Children Reduced Disparities in Access to Care and Health Outcomes? (July 2008). NBER Working Paper No. w14173, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1161096

Janet Currie (Contact Author)

Princeton University ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-1021
United States
6092587393 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.princeton.edu/~jcurrie

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

P.O. Box 7240
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Sandra L. Decker

International Longevity Center ( email )

60 East 86th Street
New York, NY 10028
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Wanchuan Lin

Peking University - Guanghua School of Management ( email )

Peking University
Beijing, Beijing 100871
China

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