Health Insurance and Less Skilled Workers
We begin this research with the belief that low and declining levels of private-employer sponsored health insurance were a continuing problem, especially among less skilled workers. Our analysis, however, paints a more complex picture. Using data from the March CPS, the SIP, and CPS benefits surveys, we find that while many less skilled workers remain uncovered, the decline in private employer-sponsored health insurance coverage has slowed recently and may even have reversed. Neither crowdout nor a deterioration in the quality of jobs available to the less skilled seems likely to fully explain these time-series trends in health insurance coverage. A simple explanation that has been largely overlooked is that rising health care costs have driven much of the reduction in private insurance coverage, but it is more difficult to test this hypothesis given the available data.
Published: Card, David and Rebecca Blank (eds.) Finding Jobs: Work and Welfare Reform. New York: Russell Sage, 2000.