The Impact of a Long-Term Care Information Campaign on Insurance Purchase
43 Pages Posted: 7 Sep 2019
Date Written: August 29, 2019
This paper estimates the effect of an information campaign urging individuals to plan ahead for their long-term care needs on the purchase of long-term care insurance. Long-term care expenses represent a large, mostly uninsured risk for the elderly, and Medicaid payments for long-term care expenses total more than $150 billion annually. In an effort to curtail these expenses, the federal government partnered with 25 states over the course of five years to run the "Own Your Future'' campaign. Using a difference-in-differences strategy that takes advantage of the staggered timing of the rollout and restricted data from the Health and Retirement Study, I find that the campaign increased long-term care insurance coverage by one percentage point, an increase of about ten percent. Although the increase is concentrated among high-asset individuals, a back-of-the-envelope calculation indicates modest Medicaid savings of $400 million in present value. This estimate represents a lower bound for the total savings from the program as individuals may have made adjustments on other unmeasured margins.
Keywords: Insurance, Long-term care, Medicaid
JEL Classification: H51, I13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation