The effects of the Massachusetts health reform on household financial distress

Publication Abstract

Mazumder, B., and Sarah Miller. 2016. "The effects of the Massachusetts health reform on household financial distress." American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, 8(3): 284-313.

In this paper, we examine the effect of a major health care reform in Massachusetts on a broad set of financial outcomes using credit report data. We exploit variation in the impact of the reform across counties and age groups using pre-reform insurance coverage as a measure of the potential effect of the reform. We find that the reform reduced the amount of debt that was past due, improved credit scores, reduced personal bankruptcies and reduced third-party collections. Our results show that health care reform has implications that extend well beyond the health of those who gain insurance coverage.

10.1257/pol.20150045

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