How a Pandemic Plus Recession Foretell the Post-Job-Based Horizon of Health Insurance

30 Pages Posted: 2 Jun 2022

See all articles by Allison K. Hoffman

Allison K. Hoffman

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School

Date Written: June 1, 2022


For many years, the health insurance that people received through their jobs was considered the gold standard, so much so that it came to be called “Cadillac coverage.” Just as Cadillac has lost its sheen, so has job-based health insurance coverage in many cases. This decline predated the COVID-19 pandemic, yet it has been, and will continue to be, hastened by it. The changes to job-based coverage have prompted people to ask: what’s next? This Article, written as part of the 2021 Clifford Symposium, suggests that the lessons from the pandemic could offer an opportunity fundamentally to rethink the way to pay for healthcare in the United States, perhaps opening a window for reform. Meaningful reform should imagine a better overall financing system ten to twenty years from now, rather than just trying to plug the most egregious holes in the existing system. This long view might produce counterintuitive results, likely focusing on reforms that will, in part or in whole, reach people who already have health insurance, rather than taking a laser focus to address the needs of the uninsured. But doing so could eventually produce a simpler and more equitable structure.

Keywords: health insurance, health reform, ERISA, employee benefits, health care, employer

Suggested Citation

Hoffman, Allison K., How a Pandemic Plus Recession Foretell the Post-Job-Based Horizon of Health Insurance (June 1, 2022). DePaul Law Review, Vol. 71, 2022, Available at SSRN:

Allison K. Hoffman (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania Carey Law School ( email )

3501 Sansom Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States


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