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Workers' Preferences among Company-Provided Health Insurance Plans

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  • Melissa W. Barringer
  • Olivia S. Mitchell

Abstract

Data from four plants of a single company are used to examine differences in health plan selection in 1989 among employees offered a choice of plans. A 10% increase in the traditional fee-for-service (FFS) plan premium reduced the fraction choosing that plan by 4–9 percentage points, and a doubling of the deductible reduced the plan's market share by 3–4 percentage points. Most workers rejecting such a plan chose the high-premium prepaid plans, which offer the lowest cost-sharing provisions. On the other hand, attaching a modest deductible to prepaid plans reduced their market share by 3–4 percentage points and increased participation in the traditional FFS plan, which requires a relatively high premium but low cost-sharing. The authors also find that increases in real salaries and in the age of the work force boosted employee choice of the traditional FFS plan.

Suggested Citation

  • Melissa W. Barringer & Olivia S. Mitchell, 1994. "Workers' Preferences among Company-Provided Health Insurance Plans," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 141-152, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:48:y:1994:i:1:p:141-152
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    Cited by:

    1. Buchmueller, Thomas, 2006. "Price and the health plan choices of retirees," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 25(1), pages 81-101, January.
    2. Strombom, Bruce A. & Buchmueller, Thomas C. & Feldstein, Paul J., 2002. "Switching costs, price sensitivity and health plan choice," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 89-116, January.
    3. Wedig, Gerard J. & Tai-Seale, Ming, 2002. "The effect of report cards on consumer choice in the health insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(6), pages 1031-1048, November.
    4. Beaulieu, Nancy Dean, 2002. "Quality information and consumer health plan choices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 43-63, January.
    5. Kate Bundorf, M., 2002. "Employee demand for health insurance and employer health plan choices," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(1), pages 65-88, January.
    6. Panos Kanavos & Marin Gemmill-Toyama, 2010. "Prescription drug coverage among elderly and disabled Americans: can Medicare—Part D reduce inequities in access?," International Journal of Health Economics and Management, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 203-218, September.
    7. Mark V. Pauly & Olivia Mitchell & Yuhui Zeng, 2004. "Death Spiral or Euthanasia? The Demise of Generous Group Health Insurance Coverage," NBER Working Papers 10464, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Jean Marie Abraham & William B. Vogt & Martin Gaynor, 2002. "Household Demand for Employer-Based Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 9144, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Jeonghoon Ahn, 2004. "Panel Data Sample Selection Model: an Application to Employee Choice of Health Plan Type and Medical Cost Estimation," Econometric Society 2004 Far Eastern Meetings 560, Econometric Society.
    10. Jennings, Nicholas B. & Eng, Howard J., 2017. "Assessment of cost sharing in the Pima County Marketplace," Health Policy, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 50-57.

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