Health Insurance Enrollment Decisions: Preferences for Coverage, Worker Sorting, and Insurance Take Up
AbstractThe weak response by the uninsured to policy initiatives encouraging voluntary enrollment in health insurance has raised concerns regarding the extent to which the uninsured value health insurance. To address this issue, we use data from the 2001 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to examine the association between health insurance preferences and coverage status. We also consider the role of such preferences in decisions to seek out and enroll in employment-based coverage. We find that adults with weak or uncertain preferences for health insurance are more likely than persons with strong preferences to be uninsured and less likely to acquire coverage. Our econometric work indicates that workers with weak or uncertain preferences are less likely to obtain job offers with insurance, reinforcing prior evidence that workers sort among jobs according to preferences for coverage. We also find that workers with weak or uncertain preferences are less likely to enroll in offered coverage and we estimate the subsidy necessary to compensate such workers for the utility loss were they to enroll. Our results suggest a dual approach to expanding coverage that includes both subsidies and educational efforts to inform targeted groups among the uninsured about the value of health insurance.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 12429.
Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision:
Note: HC HE
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
- J3 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Wages, Compensation, and Labor Costs
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
- NEP-ALL-2006-08-26 (All new papers)
- NEP-HEA-2006-08-26 (Health Economics)
- NEP-IAS-2006-08-26 (Insurance Economics)
- NEP-LAB-2006-08-26 (Labour Economics)
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.:
- Pauly, Mark V, 1986. "Taxation, Health Insurance, and Market Failure in the Medical Economy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 24(2), pages 629-75, June.
- Roger Feldman & Bryan Dowd & Scott Leitz & Lynn A. Blewett, 1997. "The Effect of Premiums on the Small Firm's Decision to Offer Health Insurance," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 32(4), pages 635-658.
- Alan C. Monheit & Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 1999. "Health Insurance Availability at the Workplace: How Important are Worker Preferences?," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(4), pages 770-785.
- Chernew, Michael & Frick, Kevin & McLaughlin, Catherine G., 1997. "Worker demand for health insurance in the non-group market: A note on the calculation of welfare loss," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(3), pages 375-380, June.
- 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.
- Gruber, Jonathan & Lettau, Michael, 2004. "How elastic is the firm's demand for health insurance?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(7-8), pages 1273-1293, July.
- Monheit, Alan C. & Vistnes, Jessica Primoff, 2005. "The demand for dependent health insurance: How important is the cost of family coverage?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1108-1131, November.
- Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
- 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.
- Gerald S. Goldstein & Mark V. Pauly, 1976. "Group Health Insurance as a Local Public Good," NBER Chapters, in: The Role of Health Insurance in the Health Services Sector, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Mohamed, Issam A.W., 2011. "Challenges of formal social security systems in Sudan," MPRA Paper 31611, University Library of Munich, Germany.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.