HIRP Research Brief

No. 8

Affordable Health Benefits for Workers without Employer Coverage
February 1998

Authors

Lynn Etheredge & Stanley Jones

Summary

With 42 million individuals lacking health insurance in 1996, new initiatives to deal with health insuranc eproblems merit a high priority among domestic policy initiatives. This paper examines the opportunities for assisting full-time workers (and their families) who do not receive employer-paid health insurance---a group that now includes 49 million individuals---by using three policy tools that Congress and President Clinton have already agreed to use in recent health care legislation: exuitable tax assistance, market reforms; and competition among health plans that offer economical benefits. Estimates for a model plan illustrate that such strategies could make decent private health insurance more afforable and more accessible for workers and their families who want to purchase it.

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