Private Insurance and Outcomes for Children with Asthma

Pinar Karaca-Mandic, University of Minnesota
Dana Goldman, RAND Corporation
Geoffrey Joyce, RAND Corporation

Little attention has focused on barriers to coverage among the privately insured children, although, a large portion of American children are covered under private insurance. We use a unique longitudinal dataset of a large group of privately insured children with asthma, and their families. We determine how changes in prescription drug cost sharing affect adherence to prescription drug therapy for asthma among the privately insured asthmatic children. We also identify the effect of prescription drug cost sharing on inpatient and outpatient spending among these chronically ill children. In both analyses, we control for other health plan characteristics, child’s own characteristics, co-morbid conditions, general family characteristics, and the out-of-pocket burden of other family members. This study is the first to analyze directly the impact of private insurance coverage generosity, separate from the impact of insurance enrollment on chronically ill children’s prescription adherence, and the subsequent use of other health services.

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Presented in Session 185: Health Insurance and Health Care Utilization