The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Health Care Utilization

Evidence from Medicare

Published In: American Economic Review, v. 98, no. 5, Dec. 2008, p. 2242-2258

Posted on on January 01, 2008

by David Card, Carlos Dobkin, Nicole Maestas

Read More

Access further information on this document at American Economic Association

This article was published outside of RAND. The full text of the article can be found at the link above.

The onset of Medicare eligibility at age 65 leads to sharp changes in the health insurance coverage of the US population. These changes lead to increases in the use of medical services, with a pattern of gains across socioeconomic groups that varies by type of service. While routine doctor visits increase more for groups that previously lacked insurance, hospital admissions for relatively expensive procedures like bypass surgery and joint replacement increase more for previously insured groups that are more likely to have supplementary coverage after 65, reflecting the relative generosity of their combined insurance package under Medicare.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation external publication series. Many RAND studies are published in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, as chapters in commercial books, or as documents published by other organizations.

The RAND Corporation is a nonprofit institution that helps improve policy and decisionmaking through research and analysis. RAND's publications do not necessarily reflect the opinions of its research clients and sponsors.