Health Insurance and Mortality: Experimental Evidence from Taxpayer Outreach

60 Pages Posted: 9 Dec 2019

See all articles by Jacob Goldin

Jacob Goldin

Stanford Law School

Ithai Lurie

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA)

Janet McCubbin

U.S. Department of the Treasury

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: December 2019

Abstract

We evaluate a randomized pilot study in which the IRS sent informational letters to 3.9 million taxpayers who paid a tax penalty for lacking health insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Drawing on administrative data, we study the effect of the intervention on taxpayers’ subsequent health insurance enrollment and mortality. We find the intervention led to increased coverage in the two years following treatment and that this additional coverage reduced mortality among middle-aged adults over the same time period. Our results provide the first experimental evidence that health insurance reduces mortality.

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Suggested Citation

Goldin, Jacob and Lurie, Ithai and McCubbin, Janet, Health Insurance and Mortality: Experimental Evidence from Taxpayer Outreach (December 2019). NBER Working Paper No. w26533, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3500651

Jacob Goldin (Contact Author)

Stanford Law School ( email )

559 Nathan Abbott Way
Stanford, CA 94305-8610
United States

Ithai Lurie

U.S. Department of the Treasury, Office of Tax Analysis (OTA) ( email )

1500 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W.
Washington, DC 22203
United States

Janet McCubbin

U.S. Department of the Treasury

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