State Health Insurance Mandates and Labor Market Outcomes: New Evidence on Old Questions

Yaa Akosa Antwi, Johanna Catherine Maclean

NBER Working Paper No. 23203
Issued in February 2017, Revised in February 2018
NBER Program(s):Health Care, Health Economics, Labor Studies

We re-visit the relationship between private health insurance mandates, access to employer-sponsored health insurance, and labor market outcomes using the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979. We model employer-sponsored health insurance access and labor market outcomes across the lifecycle as a function of the number of high cost mandates in place at labor market entrance. We find no evidence that high cost state health insurance mandates discourage employers from offering insurance to employees. Employers adjust wages and labor demand to offset mandate costs. Mandate effects are persistent but not permanent. We document heterogeneity across worker-types.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w23203

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