NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Demand for Health Insurance Among Uninsured Americans: Results of a Survey Experiment and Implications for Policy

Alan B. Krueger, Ilyana Kuziemko

NBER Working Paper No. 16978
Issued in April 2011
NBER Program(s):   HC   PE

Most existing work on the price elasticity of demand for health insurance focuses on employees' decisions to enroll in employer-provided plans. Yet any attempt to achieve universal coverage must focus on the uninsured, the vast majority of whom are not offered employer-sponsored insurance. In the summer of 2008, we conducted a survey experiment to assess the willingness to pay for a health plan among a large sample of uninsured Americans. The experiment yields price elasticities substantially greater than those found in most previous studies. We use these results to estimate coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act, with and without an individual mandate. We estimate that 39 million uninsured individuals would gain coverage and find limited evidence of adverse selection.

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A non-technical summary of this paper is available in the 2011 number 2 issue of the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health. You can sign up to receive the NBER Bulletin on Aging and Health by email.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w16978

Published: Krueger, Alan B. & Kuziemko, Ilyana, 2013. "The demand for health insurance among uninsured Americans: Results of a survey experiment and implications for policy," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(5), pages 780-793. citation courtesy of

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