NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Including Health Insurance in Poverty Measurement: The Impact of Massachusetts Health Reform on Poverty

Sanders Korenman, Dahlia K. Remler

NBER Working Paper No. 21990
Issued in February 2016
NBER Program(s):   HC   HE   LS   PE

We develop and implement what we believe is the first conceptually valid health-inclusive poverty measure (HIPM)—a measure that includes health care or insurance in the poverty needs threshold and health insurance benefits in family resources—and we discuss its limitations. Building on the Census Bureau’s Supplemental Poverty Measure, we construct a pilot HIPM for the under-65 population under ACA-like health reform in Massachusetts. This pilot is intended to demonstrate the practicality, face validity and value of a HIPM. Results suggest that public health insurance benefits and premium subsidies accounted for a substantial, one-third reduction in the poverty rate. Among low-income families who purchased individual insurance, premium subsidies reduced poverty by 9.4 percentage points.

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Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w21990

Published: Sanders Korenman & Dahlia K. Remler, 2016. "Including health insurance in poverty measurement: The impact of massachusetts health reform on poverty," Journal of Health Economics, .

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