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Health Insurance Availability at the Workplace: How Important are Worker Preferences?

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  • Alan C. Monheit
  • Jessica Primoff Vistnes

Abstract

Analysts have frequently interpreted the uneven distribution of health insurance across firms of varying size as evidence of insurance market failure in the small group market. We explore an additional explanation by considering the relationship between employee preferences for health insurance and its availability at the workplace. We apply a simple model of job choice to data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey to examine whether workers with weak preferences for health insurance sort themselves into jobs without coverage. Our results for a sample of single workers are consistent with such sorting behavior.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:34:y:1999:i:4:p:770-785
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