Oregon Health Study

Oregon Health Study

The Oregon Health Study, also known as the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, is the first-ever randomized controlled experiment to measure the impact of access to Medicaid for low-income adults.

In 2008, the state of Oregon held a lottery to determine who would be eligible to apply for new spots in the Oregon Health Plan, the state’s Medicaid program. Almost 90,000 people put their names on the list for the lottery, but only about 35,000 were selected to apply. Of those, only about 10,000 people successfully enrolled. We compared results for those who were and were not selected in order to measure the impact of health insurance on outcomes such as self-reported physical and mental health, financial strain, health care utilization, and objective clinical health outcomes.

Data collection began in 2008 and includes surveys, structured in-person interviews, in-person biomarker data collection, administrative data analysis, and intensive qualitative interviews.  

You can learn more about the Oregon Health Study on the study website.

The Oregon Health Study is led by a unique partnership between researchers, policymakers and grantmakers at the local and national level.

You can learn more about our partners here.

Oregon Health Study Publications
Allen H, Baicker K, Finkelstein A et al. (2010). "What the Oregon Health Study Can Tell Us About Expanding Medicaid." Health Affairs 29(8): 1498-1506. Available here

Finkelstein A, Taubman S, Wright B et. al. (2012). The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment: Evidence from the First Year." The Quarterly Journal of Economics 127 (3): 1057-1106. Available here.