Sean Lyons

Congressional Budget Office
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NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 2015Measuring Health Insurance Benefits: The Case of People with Disabilities
with Richard V. Burkhauser, Jeff Larrimore: w21629
Since 2012 the Congressional Budget Office has included an estimate of the market value of government-provided health insurance coverage in its measures of household income. We follow this practice for both public and private health insurance to capture the impact of greater access to government-provided health insurance for working-age people with disabilities, whose value rose in 2010 dollars from $11.7B in 1980 to $114.3B in 2012. We then consider the more general implications of incorporating estimates of the market price of insurance, equivalent to that provided by the government, into policy analyses in a post-Affordable Care Act world.

Burkhauser, Richard V., Jeff Larrimore and Sean Lyons. Forthcoming. “Measuring Health Insurance Benefits: The Case of People with Disabilities.” Contemporary Economic Policy. citation courtesy of

August 2011The Importance of the Meaning and Measurement of "Affordable" in the Affordable Care Act
with Richard V. Burkhauser, Kosali I. Simon: w17279
This paper focuses on the practical importance of a critical but under-explored interpretation of a provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA): whether "affordable" refers to the cost of single coverage alone, or to family or single coverage as applicable to the worker, in determining the employer's mandated coverage requirement and workers' (and their dependents') access to subsidized exchange coverage. Since the average annual total premium for family coverage is substantially higher than that for single coverage (on average $12,298 vs. $4,386 in 2008) this is a non-trivial distinction. Using data on workers from the Current Population Survey merged with estimates of employer and exchange policy premiums, we investigate the impact of the affordability decision on the fraction of workers...
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