What Can the Take-Up of Other Programs Teach Us About How to Improve Take-Up of Health Insurance Programs?

25 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2001 Last revised: 15 May 2022

See all articles by Dahlia Remler

Dahlia Remler

City University of New York - Baruch College - Marxe School of Public and International Affairs; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); CUNY The Graduate Center - Department of Economics

Jason E. Rachlin

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health

Sherry Glied

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: March 2001

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

Remler, Dahlia and Rachlin, Jason E. and Glied, Sherry A., What Can the Take-Up of Other Programs Teach Us About How to Improve Take-Up of Health Insurance Programs? (March 2001). NBER Working Paper No. w8185, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=264439

Dahlia Remler (Contact Author)

City University of New York - Baruch College - Marxe School of Public and International Affairs ( email )

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Jason E. Rachlin

Columbia University - Mailman School of Public Health ( email )

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Sherry A. Glied

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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