Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Stanford University
Research Interest: Health Economics
Title: "The Intracorrelation of Family Health Insurance and Health Care Consumption"
Health shocks are among the most disruptive shocks that an individual can face. Yet, relatively little is known about the impact of adverse shocks on the entire family, with even less known about how their health care consumption is affected. This is especially relevant in the US, where the prevalence of bundled family health insurance and employer-sponsored health insurance may result in non-trivial consequences. Filling this gap, this study uses a large US medical claims dataset consisting of over 1 million families to examine how the health shocks of one family member, as proxied by emergency admissions, affect other family members. In particular, health insurance overage and medical consumption of family members are examined. This study finds sizable spillover effects to the rest of the family. In particular, an emergency leads to significant changes in continuous insurance plan coverage, as measured by sample dropout. Moreover, dropout rates are nearly identical across all family members and are similar irrespective of which family member is affected by the emergency. Among those that remain insured for at least one additional year after an emergency, there are mild effects on the medical consumption of family members.