University at Albany, Department of Economics
Business Administration Building, 123A
1400 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12222
Cell Phone: (607)-765-0460
Research Interests: Public Finance, Macroeconomics, Health Economics, Econometrics
Works in Progress:
1. "Welfare, Insurance Coverage and Medicaid Expansion in a Model of Health Policy Reform." (Job Market Paper)
Abstract: Nongroup health insurance reforms in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 are studied using a general equilibrium life cycle model. The model includes earnings uncertainty, stochastic medical expenditure shocks and endogenous health insurance purchase decisions. The reforms include Medicaid expansion, nongroup insurance regulations, cost-sharing subsidies for low income earners and an individual mandate that taxes the uninsured. The model is calibrated to match key moments of the U.S. economy and life cycle profiles in the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey data set. The reforms reduce the percent uninsured from 14% in the baseline model to 2.4%. Excluding Medicaid expansion from the reform does not increase the percent uninsured. Cost-sharing subsidies and the individual mandate are important components for increasing insurance coverage. Reform with Medicaid expansion results in an expected welfare gain. Implementing the reform without Medicaid expansion results in a small welfare loss.
Abstract: This paper develops a general equilibrium life cycle model to study the effects of a Medicare voucher reform. The model is calibrated using data from the Medical Expenditure and Panel Survey. The reform is modeled to capture common features of past legislative proposals. Retirees receive a voucher, equal to the average subsidy currently received through the Medicare payroll tax, to apply towards medical care or insurance premiums. Medicaid's medically needy program reduces incentives for retirees to save and purchase insurance under the reform. Under the reform, group coverage applies to the full cost of retiree medical care, which increases the firms' cost of providing retirees health insurance. Welfare gains among newborns can be achieved if the voucher is applied only to premiums and if insurance coverage for retirees is required for Medicaid's medically needy program. Expected welfare losses are experienced by agents entering retirement.
3. "Reducing Medical Bankruptcies through Health Reform."