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

Author
Keywords
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.

Year of Publication
2011
Number
565
Date Published
04/2011
Publication Language
eng
Citation Key
7836
URL
Working Papers