Researchers Evaluate Models and Factors Used to Assess Proposals for Expanding Health Insurance Coverage

Researching models to expand health insurance

From September 2000 to December 2004 researchers at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health coordinated a series of meetings, briefings, and studies designed to improve techniques and increase consistency in the way economists and other experts model the effects of alternative proposals for expanding health insurance coverage.

Key Findings

  • Firms place more weight on the preferences of highly compensated workers than on the preferences of other workers in making health insurance choices, according to the project director, who explains that higher wage workers gain more from the tax subsidy to employer-sponsored insurance than do low wage workers and therefore are willing to forego more wages to obtain coverage through work.

    These findings suggest that modelers should place more weight on the preferences of highly compensated workers than on the preferences of the average worker within a firm.

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