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The Demand for Health Insurance among Uninsured Americans: Results of a Survey Experiment and Implications for Policy

  • Alan B. Krueger

    (Princeton University)

  • Ilyana Kuziemko

    (Princeton University)

Most existing work on the price elasticity of demand for health insurance focuses on employees' decisions to enroll in employer-provided plans. Yet any attempt to achieve universal coverage must focus on the uninsured, the vast majority of whom are not offered employer-sponsored insurance. In the summer of 2008, we conducted a survey experiment to assess the willingness to pay for a health plan among a large sample of uninsured Americans. The experiment yields price elasticities substantially greater than those found in most previous studies. We use these results to estimate coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act, with and without an individual mandate. We estimate that 39 million uninsured individuals would gain coverage and find limited evidence of adverse selection.

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Paper provided by Princeton University, Department of Economics, Center for Economic Policy Studies. in its series Working Papers with number 1306.

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Date of creation: Apr 2011
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pri:cepsud:217krueger
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  16. Gruber, Jonathan & Washington, Ebonya, 2005. "Subsidies to employee health insurance premiums and the health insurance market," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 253-276, March.
  17. Rothschild, Michael & Stiglitz, Joseph E, 1976. "Equilibrium in Competitive Insurance Markets: An Essay on the Economics of Imperfect Information," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(4), pages 630-49, November.
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