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Am J Prev Med. 2016 Dec;51(6):874-881. doi: 10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.001. Epub 2016 Sep 7.

Cost Effectiveness of the Earned Income Tax Credit as a Health Policy Investment.

Author information

1
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York. Electronic address: pm124@columbia.edu.
2
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, New York, New York.
3
School of Nursing. Columbia University, New York, New York.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Lower-income Americans are suffering from declines in income, health, and longevity over time. Income and employment policies have been proposed as a potential non-medical solution to this problem.

METHODS:

An interrupted time series analysis of state-level incremental supplements to the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) program was performed using data from 1993 to 2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System surveys and state-level life expectancy. The cost effectiveness of state EITC supplements was estimated using a microsimulation model, which was run in 2015.

RESULTS:

Supplemental EITC programs increased health-related quality of life and longevity among the poor. The program costs about $7,786/quality-adjusted life-year gained (95% CI=$4,100, $13,400) for the average recipient. This ratio increases with larger family sizes, costing roughly $14,261 (95% CI=$8,735, $19,716) for a family of three.

CONCLUSIONS:

State supplements to EITC appear to be highly cost effective, but randomized trials are needed to confirm these findings.

PMID:
27614902
DOI:
10.1016/j.amepre.2016.07.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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