Effects of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Mandate on Health Insurance Coverage for Individuals in Same-Sex Couples

49 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2020

See all articles by Christopher S. Carpenter

Christopher S. Carpenter

Vanderbilt University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Gilbert Gonzales

Vanderbilt University

Tara McKay

Vanderbilt University

Dario Sansone

Georgetown University

Abstract

A large body of research documents that the 2010 dependent coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act was responsible for significantly increasing health insurance coverage among young adults. No prior research has examined whether sexual minority young adults also benefitted from the dependent coverage mandate, despite previous studies showing lower health insurance coverage among sexual minorities and the fact that their higher likelihood of strained relationships with their parents might predict a lower ability to use parental coverage. Our estimates from the American Community Surveys using difference-in-differences and event study models show that men in same-sex couples age 21-25 were significantly more likely to have any health insurance after 2010 compared to the associated change for slightly older 27 to 31-year-old men in same-sex couples. This increase is concentrated among employer-sponsored insurance, and it is robust to permutations of time periods and age groups. Effects for women in same-sex couples and men in different-sex couples are smaller than the associated effects for men in same-sex couples. These findings confirm the broad effects of expanded dependent coverage and suggest that eliminating the federal dependent mandate could reduce health insurance coverage among young adult sexual minorities in same-sex couples.

Keywords: Affordable Care Act, health insurance, dependent coverage, sexual minority, LGBTQ

JEL Classification: H75, I13, I18, J10

Suggested Citation

Carpenter, Christopher S. and Gonzales, Gilbert and McKay, Tara and Sansone, Dario, Effects of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Mandate on Health Insurance Coverage for Individuals in Same-Sex Couples. IZA Discussion Paper No. 13119, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3573289 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3573289

Christopher S. Carpenter (Contact Author)

Vanderbilt University ( email )

Box 1819 Station B
Nashville, TN 37235
United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://sites.google.com/site/kittcarpenter/

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

Gilbert Gonzales

Vanderbilt University ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Tara McKay

Vanderbilt University ( email )

2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240
United States

Dario Sansone

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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