NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Is Health Insurance Affordable for the Uninsured?

M. Kate Bundorf, Mark V. Pauly

NBER Working Paper No. 9281
Issued in October 2002
NBER Program(s):   HC

In this paper, we investigate the meaning of affordability' in the context of health insurance. Assessing the relationship between the affordability of coverage and the large number of uninsured in the U.S. is important for understanding the barriers to purchasing coverage for the uninsured and evaluating the role of policy in reducing this number. We propose several definitions of affordability and examine the implications of alternative definitions on estimates of the proportion of currently uninsured who are unable to afford coverage. We find that, depending on the definition, health insurance was affordable to between one-quarter and three-quarters of the uninsured in 2000.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w9281

Published: Bundorf, M. Kate and Mark V. Pauly. "Is Health Insurance Affordable for the Uninsured?" Journal of Health Economics 25, 4 (July 2006): 650-673 .

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