The health insurance status of low-wage workers: The role of workplace composition and marital status

Jessica Vistnes, Alan C. Monheit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Many of the provisions in the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as tax credits and penalties for employers, vary by employer size and average wage level. Therefore, knowing the wage and firm size distribution of low-wage workers and how employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) characteristics vary by these dimensions is particularly important for understanding the extent to which low-wage workers and their employers may be affected by different provisions in the ACA. To inform this issue, the authors use data from the 2006 Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component to examine offers of coverage and cost-sharing requirements by the wage distribution and firm size dimensions of employers. They also draw on Medical Expenditure Panel Survey household-level data to describe the household circumstances of low-wage workers. The authors find that where low-wage workers are employed, who their colleagues are, and their spouses' wage levels are important factors in determining low-wage workers' access to coverage and the cost and generosity of such coverage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)607-623
Number of pages17
JournalMedical Care Research and Review
Volume68
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health Policy

Keywords

  • employment-related coverage
  • health insurance
  • low-wage workers

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