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Taxes and Health Insurance

In: Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16

  • Jonathan Gruber

A common prescription for reducing the number of uninsured is to increase the tax subsidization of health insurance in the U.S. Yet, we already provide over $100 billion per year in tax subsidies to health insurance. This paper provides an assessment of the past and potential impacts of taxation on health insurance coverage and costs. I begin by reviewing the central facts on health insurance and taxation. I then provide a framework for assessing the impacts of tax policies on health insurance coverage and costs, and I review the existing empirical evidence on the key behavioral parameters required to model these impacts. I conclude with the policy implications of these findings for tax policies to expand insurance coverage.

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This chapter was published in:
  • James M. Poterba, 2002. "Tax Policy and the Economy, Volume 16," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number pote02-1, August.
  • This item is provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Chapters with number 10862.
    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberch:10862
    Contact details of provider: Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
    Phone: 617-868-3900
    Web page: http://www.nber.org
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    1. William M. Gentry & Eric Peress, 1994. "Taxes and Fringe Benefits Offered by Employers," NBER Working Papers 4764, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Daniel S. Hamermesh & Stephen A. Woodbury, 1990. "Taxes, Fringe Benefits and Faculty," NBER Working Papers 3455, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Gruber, Jonathan & McKnight, Robin, 2003. "Why did employee health insurance contributions rise?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(6), pages 1085-1104, November.
    4. Jonathan Gruber & James M. Poterba, 1996. "Tax Subsidies to Employer-Provided Health Insurance," NBER Chapters, in: Empirical Foundations of Household Taxation, pages 135-168 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Henry S. Farber & Helen Levy, 1998. "Recent Trends in Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage: Are Bad Jobs Getting Worse?," Working Papers 781, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    6. Holmer, Martin, 1984. "Tax policy and the demand for health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(3), pages 203-221, December.
    7. Royalty, Anne Beeson, 2000. "Tax preferences for fringe benefits and workers' eligibility for employer health insurance," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 209-227, February.
    8. Marquis, M. Susan & Long, Stephen H., 1995. "Worker demand for health insurance in the non-group market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 14(1), pages 47-63, May.
    9. Marquis, M Susan & Phelps, Charles E, 1987. "Price Elasticity and Adverse Selection in the Demand for Supplementary Health Insurance," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 25(2), pages 299-313, April.
    10. Jonathan Gruber, 2000. "Tax Subsidies for Health Insurance: Evaluating the Costs and Benefits," NBER Working Papers 7553, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. Jonathan Gruber & Michael Lettau, 2000. "How Elastic is the Firm's Demand for Health Insurance?," NBER Working Papers 8021, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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