The effect of the Affordable Care Act preexisting conditions provision on marriage

Matt Hampton, Otto Lenhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper investigates the effect of the Affordable Care Act preexisting conditions provision on marriage. The policy was implemented to prevent insurers from denying insurance coverage to individuals with preexisting health conditions. We test whether the implementation of the provision led to decreases in marriage among affected adults. We add to earlier work on how marital behavior is influenced by spousal health insurance and examine for the presence of “marriage lock,” a situation in which individuals remain married primarily for insurance. Using data from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics from 2009 to 2017 and estimating difference-indifferences models, we find that male household heads with preexisting conditions are 7.12 percentage points (8.9 percent) less likely to be married after the policy. Using information on insurance status prior to the policy change, we find significant reductions in marriage among individuals with preexisting conditions who were previously insured by spousal health insurance plans. The findings suggest that the inability to attain individual coverage and reliance on spousal insurance provided incentives to remain married before 2014.
LanguageEnglish
Pages1345-1355
Number of pages11
JournalHealth Economics
Volume28
Issue number11
Early online date1 Sep 2019
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 1 Sep 2019

Fingerprint

Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Preexisting Condition Coverage
Marriage
Insurance Coverage
Health Insurance
Insurance
Insurance Carriers
Motivation
Health
Health insurance

Keywords

  • Affordable Care Act
  • preexisting conditions
  • health insurance
  • marriage

Cite this

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The effect of the Affordable Care Act preexisting conditions provision on marriage. / Hampton, Matt; Lenhart, Otto.

In: Health Economics, Vol. 28, No. 11, 30.11.2019, p. 1345-1355.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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