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Health insurance coverage of the unemployed: COBRA and the potential effects of Kassebaum-Kennedy

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  • Mark C. Berger

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Dan A. Black

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Frank A. Scott

    (University of Kentucky)

  • Amitabh Chandra

    (University of Kentucky)

Abstract

We use the April 1993 Current Population Survey to examine the health insurance coverage decisions of the unemployed and to simulate the potential effects of the new Kassebaum-Kennedy legislation. After controlling for demographic characteristics, COBRA eligibility raises the probability of health insurance coverage by 0.095, while eligibility for spouse employer insurance increases the likelihood of coverage by 0.318, and eligibility for both increases the likelihood of coverage by 0.341. In our simulations, we find that had Kassebaum-Kennedy been in effect in April 1993, 9.0 percent of the unemployed would be eligible to take up coverage, and the coverage rate of the unemployed would have been increased by 0.85 percent to 1.5 percent from 41.6 percent. Our estimates of the effect of Kassebaum-Kennedy on health insurance coverage are much lower than those reported by the Government Accounting Office prior to the passage of the legislation. © 1999 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management.

Suggested Citation

  • Mark C. Berger & Dan A. Black & Frank A. Scott & Amitabh Chandra, 1999. "Health insurance coverage of the unemployed: COBRA and the potential effects of Kassebaum-Kennedy," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(3), pages 430-448.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jpamgt:v:18:y:1999:i:3:p:430-448
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1520-6688(199922)18:3<430::AID-PAM7>3.0.CO;2-B
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Gruber, Jonathan & Madrian, Brigitte C, 1995. "Health-Insurance Availability and the Retirement Decision," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 85(4), pages 938-948, September.
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    Cited by:

    1. David M. Zimmer, 2007. "Asymmetric Effects Of Marital Separation On Health Insurance Among Men And Women," Contemporary Economic Policy, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(1), pages 92-106, January.
    2. 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.
    3. Kanika Kapur & Jeannette Rogowski, 2006. "Love or Money? Health Insurance and Retirement Among Married Couples," NBER Working Papers 12273, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Brigitte C. Madrian, 2005. "The U.S. health care system and labor markets," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 50(Jun), pages 137-163.
    5. David Zimmer, 2010. "Health Insurance and Health Care Demand Among the Self-employed," Journal of Labor Research, Springer, vol. 31(1), pages 1-19, March.
    6. Henry S. Farber, 2005. "Comments on Madrian’s “The U.S. Health Care System and Labor Markets”," Conference Series ; [Proceedings], Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, vol. 50(Jun), pages 165-172.

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