Employer Sponsored Insurance Under the Affordable Care Act And Comparisons with Insurance in the Exchanges

Awarded Scholars:
Jean Abraham, University of Minnesota
Anne Beeson Royalty, Indiana University–Purdue University Indianapolis
Project Date:
Mar 2016
Award Amount:
Project Programs:
Co-funded Research
The Social, Economic and Political Effects of the Affordable Care Act

Findings: Employer-Sponsored Insurance under the Affordable Care Act and Comparisons with Insurance in the Exchanges; Jean M. Abraham, University of Minnesota, and Anne B. Royalty, Purdue University

Co-funded with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

The United States has long relied on an employment-based system for providing access to health insurance for the non-elderly. Throughout the debate and implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many have questioned whether this reform would undermine the employer-based system because it changes the economic incentives facing employers. In particular, would some employers simply quit offering health insurance? While employer offers are a key outcome, it is also possible that employers that continue to offer insurance will change their health benefits on other dimensions, including eligibility and generosity, in response to the ACA. In some cases, and for some employers, the provision of health insurance will depend on the coverage options available on the market.

Economists Jean Abraham and Anne Royalty will explore how the ACA has affected employer provision of health insurance, focusing on which employers have changed the insurance they offer and how the newly-available health plans on the market compare to employer-sponsored insurance. They will use nationally representative Medical Expenditures Panel Survey–Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) data for 2010 through 2015 to examine trends in employer provision of health insurance before and after ACA implementation.


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