SEMINAR: The Effects of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative on Health Insurance, Access to Care, and Health Outcomes, 14 May 2018

May 14, 2018

May 14, 2018

Location: COMPAS boardroom, 58 Banbury Road, Oxford

Date and Time: May 14, 12.30-13.30

Presenter: Jakub Lonsky from the University of Pittsburgh

The paper, co-authored with Osea Giuntella, looks at the effects of the 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative on health insurance coverage, access to care, health care use, and health outcomes. The authors exploit a difference-in-differences that relies on the discontinuities in the program eligibility criteria and find that DACA increased insurance coverage. In states that granted access to Medicaid, the increase was driven by an increase in public insurance take-up. Where public coverage was not available, DACA eligibility increased individually purchased insurance. Despite the increase in insurance coverage, there is no evidence of significant increases in health care use, although there is some evidence that DACA increased demand for mental health services. After 2012, DACA-eligible individuals were also more likely to report a usual place of care and less likely to delay care because of financial restrictions. They find some evidence that DACA improved self-reported health and reduced depression symptoms, indicators of stress and anxiety, and hypertension. These improvements are concentrated among individuals with income below the federal poverty level.  

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