Impact of Public Insurance Expansion on Medical Care Utilization of Children

Junghyun Kwon, Boston College

Since the enactment of Children’s Health Insurance Program, the more low-income and uninsured children became eligible for the public health insurance coverage. I assess the impact of public coverage expansion on medical care utilization using Kids’ Inpatient Dataset(KID) and Medical Expenditure Panel Survey(MEPS). I find that one more public coverage eligible child induces 8 more total hospitalization, while 2.5 less hospitalizations for children with public coverage. However there’s no substantial difference in hospitalization charge by private insurance and public insurance coverage. To assess the efficiency in the medical care utilization, I investigate the change in the utilization of inpatient and outpatient care on diseases of respiratory system which are the most prevalent in children and primary care sensitive. The expansion of public insurance decreases the hospitalization due to the respiratory diseases for children with public coverage, and increases the utilization of primary care.

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Presented in Poster Session 3: Health of Women, Children, and Families