This paper investigates the difference in the health conditions and the health care consumption of uninsured individuals as compared to individuals with private insurance, using a nationally representative data set of inpatient hospital admissions from the US. In line with the previous literature, our results indicate that uninsured individuals are, on average, in worse health conditions. However, if we compare individuals within the same diagnosis category, the uninsured are actually healthier, with a lower number of chronic conditions and a lower risk of mortality. This indicates that the uninsured are admitted to the hospital only for more serious conditions. In addition, our results show that uninsured individuals consume less health care. In particular, conditional on being admitted to a hospital and controlling for health conditions, the uninsured have lower total charges, fewer procedures, and a higher mortality rate.
This article is published under a Creative Commons CC-BY-NC-ND license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).
Date of publication
Castaneda, Marco A. and Saygili, Meryem, "The health conditions and the health care consumption of the uninsured" (2016). Economics Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 6.