Household Demand for Employer-Based Health Insurance

Date of Original Version



Working Paper

Abstract or Description

We use the 1996 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey to estimate a model of household demand for employer-based health insurance, explicitly investigating differences in behavior between households with two potential sources of coverage and those with one source. Own and cross-price elasticities are estimated for three types of health plans, including exclusive provider organizations, any provider organizations, and mixed provider organizations. We find that the premium, family size, income, and wealth significantly affect demand. Our elasticity estimates reveal an overall, small behavioral response to changes in price with respect to health plan switching and take-up. Finally, we discuss the implications of our findings with respect to employer benefit design.