Moral Framing and Affirmative Outreach as Drivers of Health Insurance Enrollment in Medicaid and a State Exchange: A Randomized Field Experiment

27 Pages Posted: 1 Nov 2023

See all articles by Wendy Netter Epstein

Wendy Netter Epstein

DePaul University - College of Law

Christopher T. Robertson

Boston University

David Yokum

The Policy Lab at Brown University

Hansoo Ko

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

Kevin Wilson

Brown University

Date Written: August 25, 2023

Abstract

Legal efforts to expand health insurance coverage have relied on traditional economic theory. Despite expanded subsidies and some state mandates, nearly 30 million Americans are uninsured, including many who could afford it. Where economic self-interest has not fostered enrollment, we test whether moral framing around community or responsibility could be more effective.
We present a pre-registered field experiment with a state government (Maryland) dataset of uninsured residents (N=16,477). We randomized to four conditions: (a) no-contact control, (b) affordability messaging (status quo), (c) responsibility messaging, or (d) community messaging, and found responsibility and community messages most effective (an 18.5% change).

Keywords: health insurance, moral framing, law & economics, Affordable Care Act, uninsurance

Suggested Citation

Epstein, Wendy Netter and Robertson, Christopher T. and Yokum, David and Ko, Hansoo and Wilson, Kevin, Moral Framing and Affirmative Outreach as Drivers of Health Insurance Enrollment in Medicaid and a State Exchange: A Randomized Field Experiment (August 25, 2023). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4592912 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4592912

Wendy Netter Epstein (Contact Author)

DePaul University - College of Law ( email )

25 E. Jackson Blvd.
Chicago, IL 60604-2287
United States

Christopher T. Robertson

Boston University ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States
6179100649 (Phone)
02215 (Fax)

David Yokum

The Policy Lab at Brown University ( email )

225 Dyer Street
5th Floor
Providence, RI 02912
United States

Hansoo Ko

New York University (NYU) - Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service ( email )

The Puck Building
295 Lafayette Street, Second Floor
New York, NY 10012
United States

Kevin Wilson

Brown University ( email )

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
57
Abstract Views
454
Rank
685,365
PlumX Metrics