The Demand for Health Insurance Among Uninsured Americans: Results of a Survey Experiment and Implications for Policy

42 Pages Posted: 25 Apr 2011 Last revised: 3 May 2011

See all articles by Alan B. Krueger

Alan B. Krueger

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Ilyana Kuziemko

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: April 2011

Abstract

Most existing work on the price elasticity of demand for health insurance focuses on employees' decisions to enroll in employer-provided plans. Yet any attempt to achieve universal coverage must focus on the uninsured, the vast majority of whom are not offered employer-sponsored insurance. In the summer of 2008, we conducted a survey experiment to assess the willingness to pay for a health plan among a large sample of uninsured Americans. The experiment yields price elasticities substantially greater than those found in most previous studies. We use these results to estimate coverage expansion under the Affordable Care Act, with and without an individual mandate. We estimate that 39 million uninsured individuals would gain coverage and find limited evidence of adverse selection.

Suggested Citation

Krueger, Alan B. and Kuziemko, Ilyana, The Demand for Health Insurance Among Uninsured Americans: Results of a Survey Experiment and Implications for Policy (April 2011). NBER Working Paper No. w16978. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1820090

Alan B. Krueger (Contact Author)

Princeton University - Industrial Relations Section ( email )

Princeton, NJ 08544-2098
United States
609-258-4046 (Phone)
609-258-2907 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Ilyana Kuziemko

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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