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State Mandated Benefits and Employer Provided Health Insurance

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  • Jonathan Gruber

Abstract

One popular explanation for this low rate of employee coverage is the presence of numerous state regulations which mandate that group health insurance plans must include certain benefits. By raising the minimum costs of providing any health insurance coverage, these mandated benefits make it impossible for firms which would have desired to offer minimal health insurance at a low cost to do so. I use data on insurance coverage among employees in small firms to investigate whether this problem is an important cause of employee non-insurance. I find that mandates have little effect on the rate of insurance coverage; this finding is robust to a variety of specifications of the regulations. I also find that this lack of an effect may be because mandates are not binding, since most firms appear to offer these benefits even in the absence of regulation.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 4239.

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Date of creation: Dec 1992
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Publication status: published as Journal of Public Economics, November 1994.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:4239

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  1. Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
  2. Rosen, Sherwin, 1974. "Hedonic Prices and Implicit Markets: Product Differentiation in Pure Competition," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(1), pages 34-55, Jan.-Feb..
  3. Coate, Stephen, 1995. "Altruism, the Samaritan's Dilemma, and Government Transfer Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(1), pages 46-57, March.
  4. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
  5. Gruber, J., 1992. "The Efficiency of a Group-Specific Mandated Benefit: Evidence from Health Insurance Benefits for Maternity," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 92-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  6. Feldstein, Martin S, 1973. "The Welfare Loss of Excess Health Insurance," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, University of Chicago Press, vol. 81(2), pages 251-80, Part I, M.
  7. Manning, Willard G, et al, 1987. "Health Insurance and the Demand for Medical Care: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 77(3), pages 251-77, June.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan Gruber & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1996. "Health Insurance and Early Retirement: Evidence from the Availability of Continuation Coverage," NBER Chapters, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, in: Advances in the Economics of Aging, pages 115-146 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Joseph Gyourko & Joseph Tracy, . "A Look at Real Housing Prices and Incomes: Some Implications for Housing Affordability and Quality," Zell/Lurie Center Working Papers, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania 324, Wharton School Samuel Zell and Robert Lurie Real Estate Center, University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Gruber, J., 1992. "The Efficiency of a Group-Specific Mandated Benefit: Evidence from Health Insurance Benefits for Maternity," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 92-19, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  4. Jonathan Klick & Sara Markowitz, 2006. "Are mental health insurance mandates effective? Evidence from suicides," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 15(1), pages 83-97.
  5. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C, 1995. "Health-Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 938-48, September.
  6. Gruber, J. & Madrian, B.C., 1994. "Limited Insurance Portability and Job Mobility: The Effects of Public Policy on Job-Lock," Working papers, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics 94-03, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  7. Douglas Holtz-Eakin & John R. Penrod & Harvey S. Rosen, 1994. "Health Insurance and the Supply of Entrepreneurs," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 4880, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Stan McMillen & Kathryn Parr & Xiumei Song & Brian Baird, 2004. "The Kerry-Bush Health Care Proposals: A Characterization and Comparison of their Impacts on Connecticut (Technical Appendix)," CCEA Studies, University of Connecticut, Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis 2004-06, University of Connecticut, Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis.
  9. Sherry Glied & Mark Stabile, 1997. "Avoiding Health Insurance Crowd-Out: Evidence from the Medicare as Secondary Payer Legislation," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 6277, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Dhaval M. Dave & Swati Mukerjee, 2008. "Mental Health Parity Legislation, Cost-Sharing and Substance Abuse Treatment Admissions," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 14471, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. M. Kate Bundorf & Melinda Henne & Laurence Baker, 2007. "Mandated Health Insurance Benefits and the Utilization and Outcomes of Infertility Treatments," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 12820, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Amy Finkelstein, 2002. "Minimum Standards and Insurance Regulation: Evidence from the Medigap Market," NBER Working Papers, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc 8917, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Aparna Mathur, 2010. "Health insurance and job creation by the self-employed," Small Business Economics, Springer, Springer, vol. 35(3), pages 299-317, October.

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