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The Demand for Health Insurance among Uninsured Americans: Results of a Survey Experiment and Implications for Policy

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Author Info

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University)

  • Ilyana Kuziemko

    (Princeton University and NBER)

Abstract

Most existing work on the price elasticity of demand for health insurance focuses on employees' decisions to enroll in employer-provided plans. Yet any attempt to achieve universal coverage must focus on the uninsured, the vast majority of whom are not offered employer-sponsored insurance. In the summer of 2008, we conducted a survey experiment to assess the willingness to pay for a health plan among a large sample of uninsured Americans. The experiment yields price elasticities substantially greater than those found in most previous studies. We use these results to estimate coverage expansion under the A ordable Care Act, with and without an individual mandate. We estimate that 39 million uninsured individuals would gain coverage and find limited evidence of adverse selection.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. in its series Working Papers with number 1310.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
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Handle: RePEc:pri:indrel:dsp01bc386j227

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Postal: Firestone Library, Princeton, New Jersey 08544-2098
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Fax: 609 258-2907
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Web page: http://www.irs.princeton.edu/
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Keywords: health insurance; universal coverage; Affordable Care Act; price elasticity of demand;

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References

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  1. Gruber, Jonathan & Poterba, James, 1994. "Tax Incentives and the Decision to Purchase Health Insurance: Evidence from the Self-Employed," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 109(3), pages 701-33, August.
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  11. David M. Cutler, 2003. "Employee Costs and the Decline in Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Chapters, in: Frontiers in Health Policy Research, Volume 6, pages 27-54 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  17. Beth Osborne Daponte & Seth Sanders & Lowell Taylor, 1999. "Why Do Low-Income Households not Use Food Stamps? Evidence from an Experiment," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(3), pages 612-628.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Jonathan T. Kolstad & Amanda E. Kowalski, 2012. "Mandate-Based Health Reform and the Labor Market: Evidence from the Massachusetts Reform," NBER Working Papers 17933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kimberly Scharf & Sarah Smith, 2011. "Rational Inattention to Subsidies for Charitable Contributions," The Centre for Market and Public Organisation 11/269, Department of Economics, University of Bristol, UK.
  3. Keith M Marzilli Ericson & Amanda Starc, 2013. "How Product Standardization Affects Choice: Evidence from the Massachusetts Health Insurance Exchange," NBER Working Papers 19527, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Liu, Hong & Sun, Qi & Zhao, Zhong, 2013. "Social Learning and Health Insurance Enrollment: Evidence from China's New Cooperative Medical Scheme," IZA Discussion Papers 7251, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  5. Abe Dunn & Adam Hale Shapiro, 2013. "The impact of health care reform on physician payments: evidence from Massachusetts," Working Paper Series 2013-36, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
  6. Asako S. Moriya & Kosali Simon, 2014. "Impact of Premium Subsidies on the Take-up of Health Insurance: Evidence from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA)," NBER Working Papers 20196, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Marta Lachowska, 2013. "Expenditure, Confidence, and Uncertainty: Identifying Shocks to Consumer Confidence Using Daily Data," Upjohn Working Papers and Journal Articles 13-197, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research.

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