What is the Effect of the Affordable Care Act Dependency Mandate on US Army Reenlistment?

Research Paper Title

[Job] Locked and [Un]loaded: The effect of the Affordable Care Act dependency mandate on reenlistment in the US Army.

Background

One concern with employer-based health insurance is job lock or the inability for employees to leave their current employment for better opportunities for fear of losing benefits.

The researchers use the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s dependency mandate as a natural experiment.

Methods

Data from the United States Army overcome some limitations in previous studies including the ability to examine workers with fixed contract expiration dates, uniform pay, and health coverage.

Results

The researchers find that the ACA decreased reenlistment rates by 3.13 percent for enlisted soldiers aged 23-25.

They also find that younger veterans who leave the Army are more likely to attend college.

Conclusions

These findings show that the ACA reduced job lock and increased college-going.

Reference

Kofoed, M.S. & Frasier, W.J. (2019) [Job] Locked and [Un]loaded: The effect of the Affordable Care Act dependency mandate on reenlistment in the U.S. Army. Journal of Health Economics. 65, pp.103-116. doi: 10.1016/j.jhealeco.2019.03.005. Epub 2019 Mar 30.

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