[Job] Locked and [Un]loaded The Effect of the Affordable Care Act Dependency Mandate on Reenlistment in the U.S. Army

from Journal of Health Economics at http://bit.ly/2CK6L3e on March 31, 2019 at 12:06PM

Publication date: Available online 30 March 2019

Source: Journal of Health Economics

Author(s): Michael S. Kofoed, Wyatt J. Frasier


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. We use the implementation of the Affordable Care Act’s dependency mandate as a natural experiment. 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. We find that the ACA decreased reenlistment rates by 3.13 percent for enlisted soldiers aged 23–25. We also find that younger veterans who leave the Army are more likely to attend college. These findings show that the ACA reduced job lock and increased college-going.