Effects of the ACA's Dependent Coverage Mandate on Job Mobility of Young Adults

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Lara, Sebastian
healthcare economics; job-lock; job mobility; obamacare; affordable care act
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This paper uses a probit model to analyze whether or not the Affordable Care Act's dependent coverage mandate increases the likelihood of young adults switching jobs, implying a reduction in the job-lock that is created by the current healthcare system which consists mostly of employer-provided health insurance (EPHI). The first implementation of the mandate in 2010 allows adults 19-25 who do not have access to EPHI to enroll onto their parents' health insurance. The second implementation in 2014 allows these adults to enroll onto their parents' health insurance regardless of whether or not they are offered EPHI. The model finds that the 2010 implementation has a statistically significant effect on the job mobility of Whites, males, and those without a high school diploma, with the 2014 implementation having no effect on any subgroup. These findings suggest that either the ACA has not done enough to mitigate job-lock for all subgroups, or job-lock is not a severe issue across young adults to begin with.