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Medicaid Expansion and the Mental Health of Spousal Caregivers

Publication ,  Journal Article
Raut, N; Costa-Font, J; van-Houtven, C
Published in: Review of Economics of the Household
January 1, 2023

Health insurance expansions can exert wellbeing effects on individuals who provide informal care to their loved ones, reducing their experience of depression. This study exploits evidence from the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion (ACA Medicaid) to examine the effects on the mental wellbeing of informal caregivers. Drawing on an event study and a Difference-in-Differences (DID) design we investigate the policy impact of ACA Medicaid using longitudinal evidence (from the Health and Retirement Study, HRS) for low-income individuals aged 64 or below. We find that ACA’s Medicaid reduced depressive symptoms among spousal caregivers, and specifically we estimate that exposure to ACA Medicaid gives rise to 8.2% points (on average, equivalent to 30% decrease) reduction in the feeling of depression and 8.7% points increase in the feeling of happiness (on average, 11% increase). The estimates are robust to various specifications, and we identify several potential driving mechanisms for the findings: reductions in out of -pocket expenses and labor supply and, as expected, increased after Medicaid uptake. The evidence from falsification tests confirms that the estimated effects are likely due to ACA’s Medicaid.

Duke Scholars

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Published In

Review of Economics of the Household

DOI

EISSN

1573-7152

ISSN

1569-5239

Publication Date

January 1, 2023

Related Subject Headings

  • Economics
  • 3801 Applied economics
  • 1499 Other Economics
  • 1402 Applied Economics
 

Citation

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Raut, N., Costa-Font, J., & van-Houtven, C. (2023). Medicaid Expansion and the Mental Health of Spousal Caregivers. Review of Economics of the Household. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11150-023-09673-7
Raut, N., J. Costa-Font, and C. van-Houtven. “Medicaid Expansion and the Mental Health of Spousal Caregivers.” Review of Economics of the Household, January 1, 2023. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11150-023-09673-7.
Raut N, Costa-Font J, van-Houtven C. Medicaid Expansion and the Mental Health of Spousal Caregivers. Review of Economics of the Household. 2023 Jan 1;
Raut, N., et al. “Medicaid Expansion and the Mental Health of Spousal Caregivers.” Review of Economics of the Household, Jan. 2023. Scopus, doi:10.1007/s11150-023-09673-7.
Raut N, Costa-Font J, van-Houtven C. Medicaid Expansion and the Mental Health of Spousal Caregivers. Review of Economics of the Household. 2023 Jan 1;
Journal cover image

Published In

Review of Economics of the Household

DOI

EISSN

1573-7152

ISSN

1569-5239

Publication Date

January 1, 2023

Related Subject Headings

  • Economics
  • 3801 Applied economics
  • 1499 Other Economics
  • 1402 Applied Economics