The Health Care Safety Net and Crowd-Out of Private Health Insurance

54 Pages Posted: 19 Apr 2006 Last revised: 26 Apr 2006

See all articles by Anthony T. Lo Sasso

Anthony T. Lo Sasso

University of Illinois at Chicago - School of Public Health

Bruce D. Meyer

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: January 2006

Abstract

There is an extensive literature on the extent to which public health insurance coverage through Medicaid induces less private health insurance coverage. However, little is known about the effect of other components of the health care safety net in crowding out private coverage. We examine the effect of Medicaid and uncompensated care provided by clinics and hospitals on insurance coverage. We construct a long panel of metropolitan area and state-level data on hospital uncompensated care and free and reduced price care offered by Federally Qualified Health Centers. We match this information to individual level data on coverage from the Current Population Survey for two distinct groups: children aged 14 and under and single, childless adults aged 18 to 64. Our results provide mixed evidence on the extent of crowd-out. Hospital uncompensated care does not appear to crowd-out health insurance coverage and health center uncompensated care appears to crowd-out private coverage for adults and, in some specifications, children.

Suggested Citation

Lo Sasso, Anthony T. and Meyer, Bruce D., The Health Care Safety Net and Crowd-Out of Private Health Insurance (January 2006). NBER Working Paper No. w11977. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=878064

Anthony T. Lo Sasso

University of Illinois at Chicago - School of Public Health ( email )

1603 West Taylor Street
Chicago, IL 60612
United States

Bruce D. Meyer (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
(773) 702-2712 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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