Friday, November 20, 2015

The ACA and Time Use of Young Adults

The Affordable Care Act is changing time use in the United States, according to a National Bureau of Economic Research study. The expansion of dependent care coverage up to age 26 has reduced job-lock among young adults and resulted in shorter medical visits, particularly wait times, say NBER researchers after analyzing American Time Use Survey data. Medical visits are shorter, the researchers hypothesize, because young adults can now access routine medical care rather than relying on hospital ER care.

What are young adults doing with their extra hours and minutes? They are socializing more, going to school, and looking for work, say the researchers, concluding: "Availability of insurance and change in work time appear to have increased young adults' subjective well-being, enabling them to spend time on activities they view as more meaningful than those they did before insurance became available."

Source: National Bureau of Economic Research, It's About Time: Effects of the Affordable Care Act Dependent Coverage Mandate on Time Use, NBER Working Paper #21725 ($5)

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