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Health Insurance Coverage and Risky Health Behaviors among Young Adults

Barış Yörük ()

The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, 2017, vol. 17, issue 3, 21

Abstract: This paper investigates the relationship between health insurance coverage and risky health behaviors among young adults using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, 1997 Cohort (NLSY97). Before the Affordable Care Act required all employers in the United States to provide health insurance to employees’ children until the age of 26 (before September 2010), many health insurance contracts covered dependents up until age 19. Using a regression discontinuity design framework, I find that approximately 6 percent of young adults lose their health insurance coverage once they turn 19. I also find that although losing health insurance coverage at age 19 does not have any significant impact on smoking, marijuana use, and risky sexual behaviors among young adults, it decreases the probability of consuming 5 or more drinks a day by approximately 2 percentage points. These results are robust under several different parametric and non-parametric models and not sensitive to the selection of samples based on gender.

Keywords: alcohol consumption; health insurance coverage; marijuana use; smoking (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I12 I13 I18 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2017
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Working Paper: Health Insurance Coverage and Risky Health Behaviors Among Young Adults (2015) Downloads
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DOI: 10.1515/bejeap-2016-0282

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The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy is currently edited by Hendrik Jürges and Sandra Ludwig

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