The Effect of Health Insurance on Health Care Utilization: Evidence from The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2000-2005

14 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2010 Last revised: 12 Mar 2012

Diether W. Beuermann

University of Maryland - College Park; Durham Business School; Inter-American Development Bank (IADB); Universidad de Lima - Facultad de Economia

Date Written: March 1, 2010

Abstract

This paper exploits the fact that insurance eligibility in the United States changes abruptly at age 65 due to universal coverage provided by Medicare. In that way, we adopt a regression discontinuity design to analyze the effect of health insurance coverage on health care access and utilization. The main findings suggest that groups with lower pre-65 coverage gain higher increases in the probability of being insured at 65. For instance, less educated persons (less likely to have pre-65 health insurance) appear to increase their likelihood of being insured at age 65 by more than their more highly educated counterparts. Furthermore, this increased insurance coverage appears to be associated with reductions in intergroup disparities in health care access. Therefore, the findings suggest that insurance matters in order to access health care services in a way that could potentially reduce inequalities between different ethnic groups.

Keywords: Medicare, Regression Discontinuity, Health Insurance, Health Care Utilization

Suggested Citation

Beuermann, Diether W., The Effect of Health Insurance on Health Care Utilization: Evidence from The Medical Expenditure Panel Survey 2000-2005 (March 1, 2010). Journal of CENTRUM Cathedra, Vol. 3, Issue 1, pp. 18-31, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1588202

Diether Wolfgang Beuermann (Contact Author)

University of Maryland - College Park ( email )

College Park, MD 20742
United States
240-838-9376 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.econ.umd.edu/~beuermann

Durham Business School ( email )

Mill Hill Lane
Durham, Durham DH1 3LB
United Kingdom

HOME PAGE: http://www.dur.ac.uk/dbs

Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) ( email )

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Universidad de Lima - Facultad de Economia ( email )

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Lima, Lima 33
Peru

HOME PAGE: http://www.ulima.edu.pe

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