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Home > Funded Research Home > All > Sort by Author (A-Z) >Kuttner, Baughman, Christian, & Mortensen / Hirth, Baughman, Chernew & Shelton

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Author: Kuttner, Hanns ; Baughman, Reagan ; Christian, Michael ; Mortensen, Karoline
Working Paper: Employment and Health Insurance: Views from Five Surveys (PDF) ; September 2004

Five national surveys offer similar accounts of employment-based health insurance and the subset of the uninsured who have declined employment-based health insurance. While offering similar stories, the surveys are far from identical in the number of people they place at each turn in the story, with the relative size of the difference tending to grow as the subset becomes smaller. In disentangling sources of disagreement, we find no survey has an absolute advantage. The advantages are comparative. Thus we see nothing in the differences across the surveys that is likely to disturb the current equilibrium of economists who look at health insurance relying on the Current Population Survey and health services researchers the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Nonetheless, this equilibrium leaves unused some of the information that can be had from other surveys, and we close with some of that information.

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Author: Hirth, Richard ; Baughman, Reagan ; Chernew, Michael ; Shelton, Emily C.

Working Paper: The Prevalence of Mismatches between Workers' Preferences and Employers' Insurance Offers (PDF) ; October 2004

To assess the performance of the employment-based health insurance system, it is necessary to understand how well workers sort into jobs that offer their desired mix of cash wages relative to benefits. However, few studies directly measure the extent of sorting. We quantify the prevalence of mismatches between workers' preferences and firms' insurance offerings, considering two types of mismatch, 1) workers who would desire coverage through their employer, but work for firms that do not offer coverage, and 2) workers who do not desire coverage through their employer, but work for firms that offer coverage. Most workers (78.1 percent) enjoy labor market matches that appear consistent with their preferences. The remaining 21.9 percent of workers are mismatched. For most of these mismatches, the primary consequence is lower cash earnings or higher insurance premiums than they would face if they were better matched in the labor market. However, a minority of the identified mismatches appear to be "involuntarily uninsured" workers who would gain insurance if they were to find a better match. Extrapolating from the analysis sample, these involuntarily uninsured workers and their uninsured dependents may represent more than one in six uninsured individuals in the United States.