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Key Findings Details

Long-term Individual and Population Consequences of Early-life Access to Health Insurance
Etienne Gaudette, Gwyn Pauley and Julie Zissimopoulos
WP 2016-355

Gaining access to health insurance in childhood had long-term consequences for adult well being. Compared to adult health and economic outcomes for individuals without childhood health insurance, gaining health insurance in childhood resulted in:

  • A decline in the prevalence at age 65 of most major diseases, excluding cancer;
  • An increase in life expectancy of 11 months and 16 additional months lived free of disability;
  • No change in lifetime total medical spending as increases in spending due to additional life years were offset by lower health care spending due to improve health;
  • A decline in Medicare and Medicaid outlays and expenditures on lifetime Disability Insurance;
  • An increase in lifetime earnings of approximately 8 percent.

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