Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed

104 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2019

See all articles by Thomas Buchmueller

Thomas Buchmueller

University of Michigan

Helen Levy

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR); National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Abstract

We examine how a key provision of the Affordable Care Act – the expansion of Medicaid eligibility – affected health insurance coverage, access to care, and labor market transitions of unemployed workers. Comparing trends in states that implemented the Medicaid expansion to those that did not, we find that the ACA Medicaid expansion substantially increased insurance coverage and improved access to health care among unemployed workers. We then test whether this strengthening of the safety net affected transitions from unemployment to employment or out of the labor force. We find no meaningful statistical evidence in support of moral hazard effects that reduce job finding or labor force attachment.

Keywords: medicaid, insurance coverage, access to care, unemployment, labor force transitions

JEL Classification: J64, J68, I13, I18

Suggested Citation

Buchmueller, Thomas and Levy, Helen and Valletta, Robert G., Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12842. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3510454

Thomas Buchmueller (Contact Author)

University of Michigan ( email )

Helen Levy

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Institute for Social Research (ISR) ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI 48106-1248
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Robert G. Valletta

Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco ( email )

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San Francisco, CA 94105
United States
415-974-3345 (Phone)
415-977-4084 (Fax)

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

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