Out of the Woodwork: Enrollment Spillovers in the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment

48 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2020

See all articles by Adam Sacarny

Adam Sacarny

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

Katherine Baicker

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy

Amy Finkelstein

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: March 2020

Abstract

We analyze the impact of expanded adult Medicaid eligibility on the Medicaid enrollment of already-eligible children. To do so, we exploit the 2008 Oregon Medicaid lottery, in which some low-income uninsured adults were randomly selected for the chance to apply for Medicaid. Children in these households were eligible for Medicaid irrespective of whether the household won the lottery. We estimate statistically significant but transitory impacts of adult lottery selection on children’s Medicaid enrollment: for every 9 adults who enroll in Medicaid due to the lottery, one additional child also enrolls at the same time. Our results shed light on the existence, magnitude, and nature of so-called “woodwork effects”.

Suggested Citation

Sacarny, Adam and Baicker, Katherine and Finkelstein, Amy, Out of the Woodwork: Enrollment Spillovers in the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment (March 2020). NBER Working Paper No. w26871, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3559160

Adam Sacarny (Contact Author)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Katherine Baicker

University of Chicago - Harris School of Public Policy ( email )

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Chicago, IL 60637
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Amy Finkelstein

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02142
United States
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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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