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Taxes and Health Insurance

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16

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  • Jonathan Gruber

Abstract

A common prescription for reducing the number of uninsured is to increase the tax subsidization of health insurance in the U.S. Yet, we already provide over $100 billion per year in tax subsidies to health insurance. This paper provides an assessment of the past and potential impacts of taxation on health insurance coverage and costs. I begin by reviewing the central facts on health insurance and taxation. I then provide a framework for assessing the impacts of tax policies on health insurance coverage and costs, and I review the existing empirical evidence on the key behavioral parameters required to model these impacts. I conclude with the policy implications of these findings for tax policies to expand insurance coverage.

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This chapter was published in:

  • James M. Poterba, 2002. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote02-1, octubre-d.
    This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10862.

    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10862

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    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
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    1. Holmer, Martin, 1984. "Tax policy and the demand for health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 203-221, December.
    2. Gruber, Jonathan & McKnight, Robin, 2003. "Why did employee health insurance contributions rise?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1085-1104, November.
    3. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 2000. "Tax preferences for fringe benefits and workers' eligibility for employer health insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 209-227, February.
    4. Henry S. Farber & Helen Levy, 1998. "Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage: Are Bad Jobs Getting Worse?," NBER Working Papers 6709, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Jonathan Gruber & Michael Lettau, 2000. "How Elastic is the Firm's Demand for Health Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 8021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1990. "Taxes, Fringe Benefits and Faculty," NBER Working Papers 3455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Marquis, M. Susan & Long, Stephen H., 1995. "Worker demand for health insurance in the non-group market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 47-63, May.
    8. Marquis, M Susan & Phelps, Charles E, 1987. "Price Elasticity and Adverse Selection in the Demand for Supplementary Health Insurance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(2), pages 299-313, April.
    9. Jonathan Gruber & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Tax Subsidies to Employer-Provided Health Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 135-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    10. William M. Gentry & Eric Peress, 1994. "Taxes and Fringe Benefits Offered by Employers," NBER Working Papers 4764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Tax Subsidies for Health Insurance: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:
    1. Matthew Dey & Christopher Flinn, 2007. "Household Search and Health Insurance Coverage," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 56, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    2. Liran Einav & Amy Finkelstein & Mark R. Cullen, 2008. "Estimating Welfare in Insurance Markets Using Variation in Prices," NBER Working Papers 14414, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Herzlinger, Regina E., 2010. "Healthcare reform and its implications for the U.S. economy," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 105-117, March.
    4. David M. Cutler, 2002. "Employee Costs and the Decline in Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 9036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Sang-Hyop Lee & Gerard Russo & Lawrence H. Nitz & Abdul Jabbar, 2005. "The Effect of Mandatory Employer-Sponsored Insurance (ESI) on Health Insurance Coverage and Labor Force Utilization in Hawaii: Evidence from the Current Population Survey (CPS) 1994-2004," Working Papers 200512, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
    6. Jung, Juergen & Hall, Diane M. Harnek & Rhoads, Thomas, 2013. "Does the availability of parental health insurance affect the college enrollment decision of young Americans?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 32(C), pages 49-65.
    7. Avi Dor & Joseph Sudano & David W. Baker, 2003. "The Effects of Private Insurance on Measures of Health: Evidence from the Health and Retirement Study," NBER Working Papers 9774, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jayanta Bhattacharya & William B. Vogt, 2006. "Employment and Adverse Selection in Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 12430, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Hamersma, Sarah & Kim, Matthew, 2009. "The effect of parental Medicaid expansions on job mobility," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 761-770, July.
    10. Spierdijk, Laura & van Lomwel, Gijsbert & Peppelman, Wilko, 2009. "The determinants of sick leave durations of Dutch self-employed," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1185-1196, December.
    11. Andrea Leiter & Engelbert Theurl, 2004. "Soziale Krankenversicherung und Einkommensteuer: Empirische Tarifanalyse einer komplexen Beziehung," Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft - WuG, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 30(3), pages 363-392.
    12. Jonathan Gruber, 2005. "Tax Policy for Health Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 19, pages 39-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Jonathan Gruber, 2008. "Covering the Uninsured in the U.S," NBER Working Papers 13758, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

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