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Author:Buchmueller, Thomas C. 

Journal Article
Employer health benefits and insurance expansions: Hawaii's experience

As policies are proposed to expand health insurance coverage in the United States, it is useful to focus on the experience of Hawaii, where employers are required to offer such insurance to their full-time employees. Our findings suggest that Hawaii?s law has substantially increased health insurance coverage in the state, although the impact has been partially offset by employers' increased reliance on the exempt class of employees who work fewer than 20 hours per week.
FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
The effect of an employer health insurance mandate on health insurance coverage and the demand for labor: evidence from Hawaii

Over the past few decades, policy makers have considered employer mandates as a strategy for stemming the tide of declining health insurance coverage. In this paper we examine the long term effects of the only employer health insurance mandate that has ever been enforced in the United States, Hawaii's Prepaid Health Care Act, using a standard supply-demand framework and Current Population Survey data covering the years 1979 to 2005. During this period, the coverage gap between Hawaii and other states increased, as did real health insurance costs, implying a rising burden of the mandate on ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2009-08

Journal Article
Health insurance costs and declining coverage

The share of health-care spending in GDP has been rising rapidly in the United States and other advanced industrial countries since at least 1960. As Jones (2005) and others have argued, the rapid increase in the price of medical care likely is demand-driven to a large degree, reflecting the high value that consumers in wealthy countries assign to medical technologies that improve the quality of life and extend its duration. ; A potential flipside to rising health-care costs, however, is declining health-care coverage. As documented in a recent report from the U.S. Census Bureau (DeNavas-Walt ...
FRBSF Economic Letter

Journal Article
Health insurance and the U.S. labor market

FRBSF Economic Letter

Working Paper
Medicaid Expansion and the Unemployed

We examine how a key provision of the Affordable Care Act—the expansion of Medicaid eligibility—affected health insurance coverage, access to care, and labor market transitions of unemployed workers. Comparing trends in states that implemented the Medicaid expansion to those that did not, we find that the ACA Medicaid expansion substantially increased insurance coverage and improved access to health care among unemployed workers. We then test whether this strengthening of the safety net affected transitions from unemployment to employment or out of the labor force. We find no meaningful ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2019-29

Working Paper
The effect of health insurance on married female labor supply

We investigate the effects of employer-provided health insurance on the labor supply of married women. Because health benefits commonly are restricted to full-time workers, wives who prefer to work short hours but have no alternate source of insurance may work long hours in order to acquire coverage for their families. We use data from the April 1993 Current Population Survey Benefits Supplement, and we exploit variation in coverage under husbands' health plans to estimate the magnitude of this effect. Our reduced-form labor supply models indicate a strong negative effect of husbands' ...
Working Papers in Applied Economic Theory , Paper 96-09

Working Paper
Union effects on health insurance provision and coverage in the United States

Since Freeman and Medoff's (1984) comprehensive review of what unions do, union density in the U.S. has fallen substantially. During the same period, employer provision of health insurance has undergone substantial changes in extent and form. Using individual data from various supplements to the Current Population Survey and establishment data from the 1993 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation survey, we investigate the effects of unionization on employer provision of health benefits. We find that in addition to increasing coverage by employer-provided health benefits, unions reduce employee cost ...
Working Paper Series , Paper 2000-04


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