Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



First Advisor

Younghwan Song




health, mandate, ACA, care, insurance


On September 23, 2010, the dependent health insurance mandate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) increased the family health insurance coverage of young adults up to age 26. The present study principally examined the effect of this mandate on life satisfaction of young adults, in addition to health care access, self-reported health, preventative care, and labor market outcomes. Through health insurance coverage, it is hypothesized that the ACA mandate will lead to a higher life satisfaction in young adults. Using the Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System data of 2005 through 2013 to assess the effect of the ACA mandate, this paper estimates difference in difference models with either ages 19-25 or 23-25 as the treatment groups and 18 or 27-29, or even both, as the control groups. No evidence of an effect of the ACA mandate on life satisfaction was found. However, the dependent coverage increased the percentage of having health insurance, probability of being employed, and having a doctor; it also decreased the probability of forgoing care due to cost and the chance of receiving a flu vaccination.