The Effects of Offering Health Plan Choice within Employment-Based Purchasing Groups
Over the last two decades, employers have increasingly offered workers a choice of health plans. The availability of choice has the potentially beneficial effects of lowering the cost and increasing the quality of health care through greater competition among health plans for enrollees as well as allowing consumers to enroll in the type of coverage that most closely matches their preferences. On the other hand, concerns about the potential for adverse selection within employment-based purchasing in response to the availability of choice exist. In this paper, I examine the effects of offering choice in employment-based purchasing groups on access to and the cost of employer-sponsored coverage. I find that greater availability of choice was associated with a reduction in the premium of employer-sponsored coverage and an increase in the proportion of workers covered by the plans offered by employers. However, most of the premium reductions were due to a shift from family to single coverage within employment-based purchasing groups and a reduction in the generosity of the plans in which employees were enrolled. The results are not consistent with the availability of choice leading to lower premiums through greater competition among plans for workers.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2003|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||published as M. Kate Bundorf, 2010. "The Effects of Offering Health Plan Choice Within Employment-Based Purchasing Groups," Journal of Risk & Insurance, The American Risk and Insurance Association, vol. 77(1), pages 105-127.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Glied, Sherry, 2000. "Managed care," Handbook of Health Economics, in: A. J. Culyer & J. P. Newhouse (ed.), Handbook of Health Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 13, pages 707-753 Elsevier.
- Pauly, Mark V., 1984. "Is cream-skimming a problem for the competitive medical market?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 3(1), pages 87-95, April.
- Gruber, Jonathan, 1994. "The Incidence of Mandated Maternity Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(3), pages 622-41, June.
- David M. Cutler & Sarah J. Reber, 1998. "Paying for Health Insurance: The Trade-Off between Competition and Adverse Selection," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 113(2), pages 433-466.
- Dranove, David & Spier, Kathryn E. & Baker, Laurence, 2000. "'Competition' among employers offering health insurance," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 121-140, January.
- Helen Levy, 1998. "Who Pays for Health Insurance? Employee Contributions to Health Insurance Premiums," Working Papers 777, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
- Pauly, Mark V. & Herring, Bradley J., 2000. "An efficient employer strategy for dealing with adverse selection in multiple-plan offerings: an MSA example," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 513-528, July.
- James J. Heckman, 1977.
"Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System,"
NBER Working Papers
0177, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
- Joseph P. Newhouse, 1996. "Reimbursing Health Plans and Health Providers: Efficiency in Production versus Selection," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 34(3), pages 1236-1263, September.
- 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.
- Chernew, Michael E. & Frick, Kevin D., 1999. "The impact of managed care on the existence of equilibrium in health insurance markets," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(5), pages 571-590, October.
- Gerald S. Goldstein & Mark V. Pauly, 1976. "Group Health Insurance as a Local Public Good," NBER Chapters, in: The Role of Health Insurance in the Health Services Sector, pages 73-114 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Feldman, Roger & Dowd, Bryan, 2000. "Risk segmentation: goal or problem?," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(4), pages 499-512, July.
- Summers, Lawrence H, 1989. "Some Simple Economics of Mandated Benefits," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(2), pages 177-83, May.
- Patricia M. Danzon, 1990. "Mandated Employment-Based Health Insurance:Incidence and Efficiency Effects," University of Chicago - George G. Stigler Center for Study of Economy and State 60, Chicago - Center for Study of Economy and State.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:9996. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ()
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.