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Chronic Illness and Health Insurance-Related Job Lock

We examine job duration patterns for evidence of health insurance-related job lock among chronically ill workers or workers with a chronically ill family member. Using Cox proportional hazard models, we allow for more general insurance effects than in the existing literature to indicate the impact of health insurance and health status on workers' job durations. We use data for workers in Indiana predating the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) to examine the potential impact of HIPAA on job mobility. Chronic illness reduced job mobility by about 40 percent among the workers in our sample who relied on their employers for coverage as compared to otherwise similar workers who did not rely on their employers for coverage. Our results identify previously underappreciated job lock among chronically ill workers and workers with a chronically ill family member, clarify how one best researches job lock, and indicate the potential impact of policies aimed at alleviating job lock and promoting inter-employer worker mobility. This paper was revised August 2000.

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Paper provided by Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University in its series Center for Policy Research Working Papers with number 19.

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Length: 32 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2000
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:max:cprwps:19
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  1. Ann P. Bartel & George J. Borjas, 1981. "Wage Growth and Job Turnover: An Empirical Analysis," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 65-90 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Kevin T. Stroupe & Eleanor D. Kinney & Thomas J. Kniesner, 2000. "Does Chronic Illness Affect the Adequacy of Health Insurance Coverage?," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 20, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
  3. Kanika Kapur, 1998. "The Impact of Health on Job Mobility: A Measure of Job Lock," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 51(2), pages 282-298, January.
  4. Shaw, Kathryn L, 1987. "The Quit Propensity of Married Men," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 5(4), pages 533-60, October.
  5. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Robert G. Valletta, 1996. "The effects of employer-provided health insurance on worker mobility," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 49(3), pages 439-455, April.
  6. Janet Currie & Brigitte C. Madrian, 1998. "Health, Health Insurance and the Labor Market," JCPR Working Papers 27, Northwestern University/University of Chicago Joint Center for Poverty Research.
  7. Jacob Mincer & Boyan Jovanovic, 1981. "Labor Mobility and Wages," NBER Chapters, in: Studies in Labor Markets, pages 21-64 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Brigitte C. Madrian, 1993. "Employment-Based Health Insurance and Job Mobility: Is There Evidence ofJob-Lock?," NBER Working Papers 4476, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, 1994. "Health Insurance Provision and Labor Market Efficiency in the United States and Germany," NBER Chapters, in: Social Protection versus Economic Flexibility: Is There a Trade-Off?, pages 157-188 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  10. Thomas R. Oliver, 1999. "The dilemmas of incrementalism: Logical and political constraints in the design of health insurance reforms," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(4), pages 652-683.
  11. Light, Audrey & Ureta, Manuelita, 1992. "Panel Estimates of Male and Female Job Turnover Behavior: Can Female Nonquitters Be Identified?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 10(2), pages 156-81, April.
  12. Alan C. Monheit & Philip F. Cooper, 1994. "Health insurance and job mobility: Theory and evidence," Industrial and Labor Relations Review, ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 48(1), pages 68-85, October.
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