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The Problem of the Uninsured

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Author Info

  • Ehrlich, Isaac

    ()
    (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

  • Yin, Yong

    ()
    (University at Buffalo, SUNY)

Abstract

The problem of the uninsured – those eschewing the purchase of health insurance policies – cannot be fully understood without considering informal alternatives to market insurance called "self-insurance" and "self-protection", including the publicly and charitably-financed safety-net health care system. This paper tackles the problem of the uninsured by formulating a "full-insurance" paradigm that includes all 4 measures of insurance as interacting components, and analyzing their interdependencies. We apply both a baseline and extended versions of the model through calibrated simulations to estimate the degree to which these non-market alternatives can account for the fraction of the non-elderly adults who are uninsured, and estimate their behavioral and policy ramifications. Our results indicate that policy analyses that do not consider the role of self-efforts to avoid health losses can grossly distort the success of the ACA mandate to insure the uninsured and to improve the health and welfare outcomes of the previously uninsured.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6920.

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Length: 35 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6920

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Related research

Keywords: health insurance; health care; uninsured; self-insurance; self-protection;

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  1. Ehrlich, Isaac & Becker, Gary S, 1972. "Market Insurance, Self-Insurance, and Self-Protection," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 80(4), pages 623-48, July-Aug..
  2. Yang-Ming Chang & Issac Ehrlich, 1985. "Insurance, Protection from Risk, and Risk-bearing," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 18(3), pages 574-86, August.
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