Quality information disclosure and health insurance demand: evidence from VA hospital report cards

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This study examines the efect of public reporting of quality information on the demand for public insurance. In particular, we examine the efect of the introduction of Veterans Afairs (VA) hospital quality report cards in 2008. Using data from the Current Population Survey in 2005–2015, we fnd that new information about the quality of a VA hospital had a signifcant efect on VA coverage among veterans living in the same Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). Despite the signifcant efect on VA coverage, the quality report did not have a spillover efect on veterans’ labor supply. Moreover, updated quality information released in later years, which was presented in a less straightforward form, led to no additional changes in VA coverage. These fndings suggest that quality reports for public insurance programs can be used as a policy lever to facilitate take up decision among potential benefciaries.