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Public health insurance offers insured infants better, less costly care than private plans
Date:12/7/2011

y are from higher-income families, with older parents who are usually married and more educated. Their mothers weigh less than those of infants on public insurance. This demonstrates strong positive selection of wealthier families into private health insurance.

  • Roy then compared the effect of public insurance on infant health in relation to private health insurance. To do that, she used an established statistical methodology that allows economists to factor negative or positive selection into the type of insurance. In comparing public vs. private insurance allowing for strong negative selection into public health care a different picture emerged.

    "The results showed that it's possible to attribute the entire detrimental effect of public health insurance to the negative selection that draws less healthy infants into public health insurance," Roy says.

    In fact, in a most striking revelation, allowing for a modest to significant amount of negative selection of infants into public health insurance, Roy's findings suggest that among the insured population of infants, private health insurance is detrimental to child health.

    "The real surprise with these findings is that despite a less healthy population due to the negative factors created by poverty public health insurance is actually improving the health of these infants," Roy says.

    Public health insurance provides more comprehensive benefits

    The findings are less surprising upon deeper analysis.

    • A previous study by the nonpartisan Center on Budget and Policy Priorities sheds light on Roy's research. That group found that public health insurance provides more comprehensive benefits than private insurance. For example, all children on Medicaid and CHIP receive preventive and primary medical care, inpatient and outpatient care, pediatric vaccines, laboratory and X-ray services, prescription drugs, immunizations, and dental, vision and
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    Contact: Margaret Allen
    mallen@smu.edu
    214-768-7664
    Southern Methodist University
    Source:Eurekalert

    Page: 1 2 3 4 5

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