Health Insurance Effects among Children

Anne Fitzpatrick, University of Michigan
Rebecca L. Thornton, University of Michigan

Using two rounds of data among uninsured adult informal-sector workers in Nicaragua, we report the causal effects of having health insurance among their 2993 children. We utilize the fact that at the baseline, some adult respondents were randomly given six months of free insurance, which allows us to empirically identify causal effects. Children of insured parents were reported to have an average increase of 0.5 visits to covered providers one year later; the total number of visits increased by more than one full visit. This effect is particularly strong among younger children, specifically toddlers, as well as children who were sick in the past year at baseline. We find no evidence of improved health outcomes, as reported by the survey questions, and find no changes in parents health expenditures on children.

  See extended abstract

Presented in Poster Session 4