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The effect of health insurance on sexual health: Evidence from the Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage mandate

Melissa Oney

Social Science & Medicine, 2018, vol. 202, issue C, 20-27

Abstract: This study estimates changes in sexually transmitted disease rates for young adults in the United States following the Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage mandate; a provision that allows dependents to remain covered under their parents' health insurance plans until the age of 26. This study is the first to analyze changes in reported chlamydia and gonorrhea rates resulting from the dependent coverage mandate. Utilizing a difference-in-differences framework coupled with administrative data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, I find that reported chlamydia rates increased for males and females ages 20–24 relative to comparison groups of males and females ages 15–19 and 25–29 following the mandate. I also find evidence of an increase in gonorrhea rates for females in this age group. I find no evidence that the mandate induced ex ante moral hazard.

Keywords: United States; Health behavior; Health insurance; Public policy; Public health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:202:y:2018:i:c:p:20-27