Article Title

"Aging Out" of Dependent Coverage and the Effects on U.S. Labor Market and Health Insurance Choices

Publication Date



Affordable Care Act, dependent coverage provision


Background/Aims: We examined how labor market and health insurance outcomes were affected by the loss of dependent coverage eligibility under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Methods: We used National Health Interview Survey data and regression discontinuity models to measure the percentage-point change in labor market and health insurance outcomes at age 26. The sample was restricted to unmarried individuals 24 to 28 years old and to a period of time before the ACA’s individual mandate (2011–2013). Models were run separately for men and women to determine if there were differences based on gender.

Results: Aging out of this provision increased employment among men, employer-sponsored health insurance offers for women and reports that health insurance coverage was worse than it was one year previously (overall and for young women). Uninsured rates did not increase at age 26, but there was an increase in the purchase of nongroup health coverage, indicating interest in remaining insured after age 26.

Conclusion: Many young adults will turn to state and federal health insurance marketplaces for information about health coverage. Because young adults (age 18–29) regularly use social media sites, these sites could be used to advertise insurance to individuals reaching their 26th birthdays.




July 5th, 2016


August 12th, 2016