Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2013

Document Type

Thesis

Department

Economics

First Advisor

Prof. Tania Barham

Abstract

This study examines the effect of the Chapter 58 health care reform in Massachusetts four years after implementation on rates of coverage through employersponsored plans (ESI) and self-reported health status. It documents whether the relative increase in ESI coverage rates found in Massachusetts one and two years after the reform have persisted. A difference-in-difference model is used to examine effects on coverage rates and health status after the reform. Non-elderly adults living in Massachusetts make up the treatment group and the control group is comprised of individuals living in other Northeastern states. The study uses data from the Current Population Survey from the pre-reform years 2001 to 2006 and post-reform years 2007 to 2010. Results show that for the non-elderly adult population coverage through ESI plans increased 3.4 percentage points in the four years since the reform, slightly more than indicated in earlier studies. Gains were especially large among the young adult, near elderly, less educated, and lower income populations. The Massachusetts population also showed a significant improvement in self-reported health status.

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