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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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    Cited by:

    1. Monheit, Alan C. & Vistnes, Jessica Primoff, 2005. "The demand for dependent health insurance: How important is the cost of family coverage?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(6), pages 1108-1131, November.
    2. Kimberly J. Rask & Kevin N. Rask, 2005. "Delivering Public Health Care Services: Substitutes, Complements, or Both?," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 23(1), pages 28-39, January.
    3. Kanika Kapur & Pinar Karaca‐Mandic & Susan M. Gates & Brent Fulton, 2012. "Do Small‐Group Health Insurance Regulations Influence Small Business Size?," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 79(1), pages 231-260, March.
    4. Colla Carrie H & Dow William H & Dube Arindrajit, 2011. "How Do Employers React to a Pay-or-Play Mandate? Early Evidence from San Francisco," Forum for Health Economics & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 14(2), pages 1-43, April.
    5. Lehrer, Steven F. & Pereira, Nuno Sousa, 2007. "Worker sorting, compensating differentials and health insurance: Evidence from displaced workers," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(5), pages 1034-1056, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Mohamed, Issam A.W., 2011. "Challenges of formal social security systems in Sudan," MPRA Paper 31611, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Joe Timmerman, 2005. "Determinants of Access to Job-related Health Insurance," Eastern Economic Journal, Eastern Economic Association, vol. 31(4), pages 671-680, Fall.
    9. Royalty, Anne Beeson & Abraham, Jean M., 2006. "Health insurance and labor market outcomes: Joint decision-making within households," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, pages 1561-1577.
    10. Pinar Karaca-Mandic & Roger Feldman & Peter Graven, 2013. "The Role of Agents and Brokers in the Market for Health Insurance," Working Papers 13-58, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
    11. Laura Bucila, 2008. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and the Minimum Wage," Working Papers 0812, College of the Holy Cross, Department of Economics.
    12. Wang Ping, 2009. "Effects of Disability-Based Underwriting Prohibitions on the Labor Market," Asia-Pacific Journal of Risk and Insurance, De Gruyter, vol. 4(1), pages 1-19, November.
    13. Amuedo-Dorantes, Catalina & Kimmel, Jean, 2008. "New Evidence on the Motherhood Wage Gap," IZA Discussion Papers 3662, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    14. Kanika Kapur & José J. Escarce & M Susan Marquis & Kosali I. Simon, 2008. "Where Do The Sick Go? Health Insurance and Employment in Small and Large Firms," Southern Economic Journal, Southern Economic Association, vol. 74(3), pages 644-664, January.
    15. Jean Marie Abraham & Thomas DeLeire & Annne Beeson Royalty, 2007. "Health Insurance, Pensions, and Paid Leave: Access to Health Insurance at Small Firms in a Broader Benefit Context: Working Paper 2007-08," Working Papers 18725, Congressional Budget Office.
    16. Steven F. Lehrer & Nuno Sousa Pereira, 2008. "Worker Sorting, Health Insurance and Wages: Further Evidence from Displaced Workers in the United States," CEF.UP Working Papers 0804, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
    17. Su Liu & Deborah Chollet, "undated". "Price and Income Elasticity of the Demand for Health Insurance and Health Care Services: A Critical Review of the Literature," Mathematica Policy Research Reports dbf03ba11863430593b0b825f, Mathematica Policy Research.
    18. Ines Läufer, 2014. "Another perspective on the high uninsured-rate in the USA: Crowding out of long term health insurance by the institutional setting of the U.S. health insurance system," Otto-Wolff-Institut Discussion Paper Series 02/2014, Otto-Wolff-Institut für Wirtschaftsordnung, Köln, Deutschland.
    19. David Auerbach & Janet Holtzblatt & Paul Jacobs & Alexandra Minicozzi & Pamela Moomau & Chapin White, 2010. "Will Health Insurance Mandates Increase Coverage? Synthesizing Perspectives from Health, Tax, and Behavioral Economics: Working Paper 2010-05," Working Papers 21600, Congressional Budget Office.
    20. William N. Evans & Helen Levy & Kosali I. Simon, 2000. "Data Watch: Research Data in Health Economics," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(4), pages 203-216, Fall.
    21. Alan C. Monheit & Jessica Primoff Vistnes, 2006. "Health Insurance Enrollment Decisions: Preferences for Coverage, Worker Sorting, and Insurance Take Up," NBER Working Papers 12429, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    22. Herring, Bradley, 2005. "The effect of the availability of charity care to the uninsured on the demand for private health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 225-252, March.
    23. Pinar Karaca-Mandic & Roger Feldman & Peter Graven, 2013. "The Role of Agents and Brokers in the Market for Health Insurance," NBER Working Papers 19342, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    24. C. J. Krizan & Adela Luque & Alice Zawacki, 2014. "The Effect Of Employer Health Insurance Offering On The Growth And Survival Of Small Business Prior To The Affordable Care Act," Working Papers 14-22, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.

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