Do Health Insurance Mandates Spillover to Education? Evidence from Michigan's Autism Insurance Mandate

61 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2019

See all articles by Riley K. Acton

Riley K. Acton

Michigan State University

Scott A. Imberman

Michigan State University; Michigan State University - College of Education

Michael Lovenheim

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: July 2019

Abstract

Social programs and mandates are usually studied in isolation, but interaction effects could create spillovers to other public goods. We examine how health insurance coverage affects the education of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) in the context of state-mandated private therapy coverage. Since Medicaid benefits under the mandate were far weaker than under private insurance, we proxy for Medicaid ineligibility and estimate effects via triple-differences. While we find little change in ASD identification, the mandate crowds-out special education supports for students with ASD by shifting students to less restrictive environments and reducing the use of ASD specialized teacher consultants. A lack of short-run impact on achievement supports our interpretation of the service reductions as crowd-out and indicates that the shift does not academically harm students with ASD.

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Suggested Citation

Acton, Riley K. and Imberman, Scott Andrew and Lovenheim, Michael, Do Health Insurance Mandates Spillover to Education? Evidence from Michigan's Autism Insurance Mandate (July 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26079. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3423792

Riley K. Acton (Contact Author)

Michigan State University ( email )

Scott Andrew Imberman

Michigan State University ( email )

East Lansing, MI 48824
United States

Michigan State University - College of Education ( email )

East Lansing, MI
United States

Michael Lovenheim

Cornell University - Department of Policy Analysis and Management ( email )

Ithaca, NY
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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