Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Behaviors after Three Years

51 Pages Posted: 2 May 2018

See all articles by Charles Courtemanche

Charles Courtemanche

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics

James Marton

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School - Department of Economics

Benjamin Ukert

University of Pennsylvania

Aaron Yelowitz

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics

Daniela Zapata

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics

Abstract

This paper examines the impacts of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – which substantially increased insurance coverage through regulations, mandates, subsidies, and Medicaid expansions – on behaviors related to future health risks after three years. Using data from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System and an identification strategy that leverages variation in pre-ACA uninsured rates and state Medicaid expansion decisions, we show that the ACA increased preventive care utilization along several dimensions, but also increased risky drinking. These results are driven by the private portions of the law, as opposed to the Medicaid expansion. We also conduct subsample analyses by income and age.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act, health insurance, Medicaid, health behavior, obesity, smoking, drinking, preventive care, screening

JEL Classification: I12, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Courtemanche, Charles and Marton, James and Ukert, Benjamin and Yelowitz, Aaron and Zapata, Daniela, Effects of the Affordable Care Act on Health Behaviors after Three Years. IZA Discussion Paper No. 11468. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3170257

Charles Courtemanche (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics ( email )

Greensboro, NC 27402-6165
United States

James Marton

Georgia State University - Andrew Young School - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

Benjamin Ukert

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

Aaron Yelowitz

University of Kentucky - Department of Economics ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

Daniela Zapata

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics ( email )

Greensboro, NC 27402-6165
United States

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