Knowledge About Health Insurance and Finance Linked to Higher Rates of Health Coverage | RAND

November 25, 2016

Uninsured individuals who had greater knowledge about health insurance and financial issues were more likely to gain coverage after health insurance exchanges opened under the federal Affordable Care Act, according to a new RAND Corporation study.For a typical person who was uninsured in 2013, the chance of being insured in 2015 was 9.2 percentage points higher if they had high health insurance literacy as compared to someone with low health insurance literacy, after adjusting for other factors.

Source: Knowledge About Health Insurance and Finance Linked to Higher Rates of Health Coverage | RAND


Health Care and the Housing Crisis by Ben Gilbert, Julian Wade :: SSRN

November 24, 2016

We show that the percentage of people in a county without health insurance in 2005 is a strong and robust predictor of subsequent home value declines in that county during the housing crisis. Our preferred estimates indicate that a 10 percentage point increase in uninsured county residents in 2005 is associated with approximately 4 additional percentage points of home value decline between 2006 and 2010. We also provide evidence that this relationship was essentially nonexistent in Massachussets, where comprehensive health care reform was passed just before the housing crisis began. Our results contribute to the growing literature on the financial benefits of obtaining health insurance, but we are the first to show a link between health insurance and housing market outcomes. We also add to the literature on the household-level determinants of the recession; considering that uninsured households are likely to pay medical debt with consumer credit or home equity loans, our results shed light on one mechanism by which pre-recession household leverage may have exacerbated the recession. These results have important policy implications as the federal government considers a revision of the Affordable Care Act.

Source: Health Care and the Housing Crisis by Ben Gilbert, Julian Wade :: SSRN


Policy Choice and Product Bundling in a Complicated Health Insurance Market: Do People Get It Right? by Nathan Kettlewell :: SSRN

November 10, 2016

This paper evaluates health insurance policy selection and how this interacts with product bundling by using a discrete choice experiment closely calibrated to the Australian private health insurance market. The experimental approach overcomes some limitations of revealed preference research in this area. The results indicate that consumers are likely to make choices that violate expected utility theory, use heuristic decision strategies, and over-insure relative to minimising out-of-pocket costs. Decision quality is significantly lower when choosing a bundled hospital/ancillaries health insurance policy (compared to stand-alone ancillaries cover), which is the policy type most consumers purchase in Australia.

Source: Policy Choice and Product Bundling in a Complicated Health Insurance Market: Do People Get It Right? by Nathan Kettlewell :: SSRN


Workers Like Their Benefits, Are Confident of Future Availability, But Dissatisfied With the Health Care System and Pessimistic About Future Access and Affordability by Paul Fronstin, Ruth Helman :: SSRN

November 4, 2016

The EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Health and Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey (WBS) examines a broad spectrum of health care issues, including workers’ satisfaction with health care today, their confidence in the health care system and the Medicare program, and their attitudes toward benefits in the workplace. It is co-sponsored by the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Greenwald & Associates with support from eight private organizations. This paper identifies the key findings of the 2016 survey. The 2016 WBS finds that, when asked to rate the U.S. health care system overall, many workers describe it as poor (27 percent) or fair (33 percent); only a small minority rate it as excellent (3 percent) or very good (12 percent). Dissatisfaction with the health care system is focused primarily on cost. Workers tend to be more favorable about their own health plans than they are about the health care system overall. One-half of those with health insurance coverage are extremely or very satisfied with their coverage, while only 12 percent are not satisfied with their current health plan. One-half of all workers report having experienced a health care cost increase in the past year, down from 61 percent in 2013. Those experiencing an increase report they are changing the way they use the health care system, such as trying to take better care of themselves, choosing generic drugs, or delaying going to the doctor. Twenty-five percent of workers report that they are extremely confident their employers or unions will continue to offer health coverage in the future, 38 percent are very confident, and 28 percent are somewhat confident. While 48 percent of workers indicate they are extremely or very confident about their ability to get the treatments they need today, only 34 percent are confident about their ability to get needed treatments during the next 10 years, and just 29 percent are confident about this once they are eligible for Medicare. Thirty-two percent of workers say they are confident that they are able to afford health care without financial hardship today, but this percentage decreases to 25 percent both when they look out over the next 10 years and when they consider the Medicare years.

Source: Workers Like Their Benefits, Are Confident of Future Availability, But Dissatisfied With the Health Care System and Pessimistic About Future Access and Affordability by Paul Fronstin, Ruth Helman :: SSRN


House Passes Obamacare Mandate Exemption Bill | The Daily Caller

September 28, 2016

The White House threatened to veto a bill that passed the House Tuesday designed to protect individuals from being fined for not having insurance due to the collapse of their Obamacare co-op.

Source: House Passes Obamacare Mandate Exemption Bill | The Daily Caller


Obamacare Options? In Many Parts of Country, Only One Insurer Will Remain – The New York Times

August 19, 2016

According to an analysis done for The Upshot by the McKinsey Center for U.S. Health System Reform, 17 percent of Americans eligible for an Affordable Care Act plan may have only one insurer to choose next year. The analysis shows that there are five entire states currently set to have one insurer, although our map also includes two more states because the plans for more carriers are not final. By comparison, only 2 percent of eligible customers last year had only one choice.

A similar analysis by Avalere Health, another consulting firm, also highlighted the increase in areas with only one insurance carrier.

Source: Obamacare Options? In Many Parts of Country, Only One Insurer Will Remain – The New York Times


Presidential Resignation: Good Move, Wrong President, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

November 12, 2015

one of Butler’s objections to President Wolfe was “graduate students being robbed of their health insurance.” If this is a big concern of Butler’s and not just a side issue, then Butler called for the wrong president to resign. He should have called for President Obama to resign. Why? Because what caused the University of Missouri to quit subsidizing graduate students’ health care was, you guessed it, Obamacare.

Source: Presidential Resignation: Good Move, Wrong President, David Henderson | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty