Center for Financing, Access, and Cost Trends (CFACT): Publications by Staff
Authors: Monheit A, Nichols L, Selden T
Title: How are net health insurance benefits distributed in the employment-related insurance market?
Publication: Inquiry 32:379-91. AHCPR Pub. No. 96-R054
Abstract: The recent health care reform debate has questioned whether the health insurance market effectively pools risks and transfers income across states of health. The authors used data from the 1987 National Medical Expenditure Survey (NMES) to examine how net health insurance benefits are distributed in the employment-related insurance market. The authors found this market to transfer income from those in good health to those with health problems and the tax subsidy from employer health insurance contributions to be a crucial determinant of the net benefit distribution. To the extent society views these transfers as meritorious, the findings suggest caution regarding initiatives to limit or eliminate the tax subsidy.
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