Social programs and mandates are usually studied in isolation, but unintended spillovers to other areas can impact individual behavior and social welfare. We examine the presence of spillovers from health care policy to the education sector by studying how health insurance coverage affects the education of students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). We leverage a state mandate that increased insurance coverage of ASD-related services, which often are provided by both the private sector and within public schools. The mandate primarily affected coverage for children with private health insurance, so we proxy for private insurance coverage with students’ economic disadvantage status and estimate effects via triple-differences. While we find little change in ASD identification, the mandate crowds-out special education supports for students with ASD. A lack of short-run impact on achievement supports our crowd-out interpretation and indicates that the mandate had little net effect on the academic achievement of ASD students.
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