Degree Year


Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts




Barbara J. Craig
Paul A. Brehm
Martin Saavedra


Affordable Care Act, Dependent coverage mandate, Mortality, Young adults, Health care, Health insurance, Dependent coverage


I add to literature investigating the effects of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) dependent coverage mandate (DCM). I examine how the mandate, which increased health insurance coverage for 19 to 25 year-olds, impacted short-run mortality rates for the affected age group. Unlike previous research, I examine if and how young adult mortality was affected differentially by race. I use data from the CDC’s “WONDER” database to conduct difference-in-difference analysis to assess the effects of the policy change on mortality. I find that the DCM had a significant negative impact on mortality rates for the affected age group as a whole, but that African Americans and Asians and Pacific Islanders missed out on the effect. I then briefly investigate what might have driven these racially disparate impacts, but do not produce a conclusive explanation. During that investigation, I also offer a causally-identified estimate of the magnitude of the DCM’s effect on health coverage.

Included in

Economics Commons