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Taxes and Health Insurance

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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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 8657.

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Date of creation: Dec 2001
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Publication status: published as Gruber, Jonathan and Ebonya Washington. "Subsidies To Employee Health Insurance Premiums And The Health Insurance Market," Journal of Health Economics, 2005, v24(2,Mar), 253-276.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:8657

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References

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  1. Stephen A. Woodbury & Daniel S. Hamermesh, . "Taxes, Fringe Benefits, and Faculty," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research saw1992, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.
  2. Marquis, M. Susan & Long, Stephen H., 1995. "Worker demand for health insurance in the non-group market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 47-63, May.
  3. Farber, Henry S. & Levy, Helen, 2000. "Recent trends in employer-sponsored health insurance coverage: are bad jobs getting worse?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 93-119, January.
  4. 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, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(2), pages 299-313, April.
  5. Jonathan Gruber & James Poterba, 1995. "Tax Subsidies to Employer-Provided Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 5147, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. Jonathan Gruber & Robin McKnight, 2002. "Why Did Employee Health Insurance Contributions Rise?," NBER Working Papers 8878, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. 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.
  8. Holmer, Martin, 1984. "Tax policy and the demand for health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 203-221, December.
  9. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Tax Subsidies for Health Insurance: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 2000. "Tax preferences for fringe benefits and workers' eligibility for employer health insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 209-227, February.
  11. William M. Gentry & Eric Peress, 1994. "Taxes and Fringe Benefits Offered by Employers," NBER Working Papers 4764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan Gruber, 2004. "Tax Policy for Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 10977, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  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. Matthew Dey & Christopher Flinn, 2007. "Household Search and Health Insurance Coverage," Carlo Alberto Notebooks, Collegio Carlo Alberto 56, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
  4. 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, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics 200512, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Department of Economics.
  5. David M. Cutler, 2002. "Employee Costs and the Decline in Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 9036, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  6. 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, Kammer für Arbeiter und Angestellte für Wien, Abteilung Wirtschaftswissenschaft und Statistik, vol. 30(3), pages 363-392.
  7. Diane M. Harnak Hall & Juergen Jung & Thomas Rhoads, 2010. "Does the Availability of Parental Health Insurance Affect the College Enrollment Decision of Young Americans?," Working Papers, Towson University, Department of Economics 2010-05, Towson University, Department of Economics, revised May 2011.
  8. Herzlinger, Regina E., 2010. "Healthcare reform and its implications for the U.S. economy," Business Horizons, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 53(2), pages 105-117, March.
  9. Spierdijk, Laura & van Lomwel, Gijsbert & Peppelman, Wilko, 2009. "The determinants of sick leave durations of Dutch self-employed," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(6), pages 1185-1196, December.
  10. 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.
  11. Hamersma, Sarah & Kim, Matthew, 2009. "The effect of parental Medicaid expansions on job mobility," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 761-770, July.
  12. Jayanta Bhattacharya & William B. Vogt, 2006. "Employment and Adverse Selection in Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 12430, 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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