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March 1995, Vol. 118, No. 3
Craig A. Olson
P roposals to control health care costs and provide broader access to health care services dominate the domestic policy agenda. Most workers who are covered by health insurance receive these benefits through their employer.
An analysis of Current Population Survey data show a decline in the likelihood that married men in the prime working ages-between 25 and 55-would have health care benefits provided by the employer. The decline occurred among all age and education groups, but was more pronounced among younger, less educated men. These trends substantially widen the gap in coverage between age and education groups.
This article examines the distribution of employer-provided health benefits, using data from the March Current Population Surveys (CPS) conducted by the Bureau of Census over the 1980-93 period.1 The March CPS survey includes questions on family health insurance coverage, which ask about health benefit coverage in the preceding year and identifies household members covered by an employer-provided health plan and the household member whose job provides the benefit.
This excerpt is from an article published in the March 1995 issue of the Monthly Labor Review. The full text of the article is available in Adobe Acrobat's Portable Document Format (PDF). See How to view a PDF file for more information.
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1 This study compliments Katherine Levit, Gary L. Olin and Suzanne W. Letsch, "Americans' Health Insurance Coverage, 1980-1991," Health Care Financing Review, Fall 1992, pp.31-57 that provides summary statistics on different sources of health benefits (group, individual,and public) for various demographic groups. However, this article looks at changes in employer-provided group benefits for a relatively homogeneous segment of the labor market. Also, unlike Levit et al. , it reports multivariate estimates of the effect of different characteristics on changes in coverage.
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