Cost and Performance: A Comparison of the Individual and Group Health Insurance Markets

Cost and Performance: A Comparison of the Individual and Group Health Insurance Markets concerned with losing or changing their insurance because they change jobs or because their employer redesigns or reduces benefits. When people have their own health insurance, it is almost perfectly portable and highly adaptable to their demands and tastes. (Because some individual policies are offered by insurers that only operate in one or a few states, however, portability may not always be nationwide.) In contrast to the attraction of more portability and freedom of choice, there is apprehension that individual insurance enrollment may also be responding to some trends in group insurance: the premium for group insurance paid directly by the employee (and avoided if coverage is refused) has been rising, and a larger proportion of employees offered coverage are choosing to reject it for whatever reason. Low-risk (especially younger) workers could find choosing individual coverage preferable to group insurance if they are required to pay the same total group insurance premium as older workers; the result would be departure of low risks from the group pool. Another less favorable, though important, aspect of individual coverage — which may deter insurance purchase by those not offered group coverage — is that individual insurance is believed to be much http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law Duke University Press

Cost and Performance: A Comparison of the Individual and Group Health Insurance Markets

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2000 by Duke University Press
ISSN
0361-6878
eISSN
1527-1927
D.O.I.
10.1215/03616878-25-1-9
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

concerned with losing or changing their insurance because they change jobs or because their employer redesigns or reduces benefits. When people have their own health insurance, it is almost perfectly portable and highly adaptable to their demands and tastes. (Because some individual policies are offered by insurers that only operate in one or a few states, however, portability may not always be nationwide.) In contrast to the attraction of more portability and freedom of choice, there is apprehension that individual insurance enrollment may also be responding to some trends in group insurance: the premium for group insurance paid directly by the employee (and avoided if coverage is refused) has been rising, and a larger proportion of employees offered coverage are choosing to reject it for whatever reason. Low-risk (especially younger) workers could find choosing individual coverage preferable to group insurance if they are required to pay the same total group insurance premium as older workers; the result would be departure of low risks from the group pool. Another less favorable, though important, aspect of individual coverage — which may deter insurance purchase by those not offered group coverage — is that individual insurance is believed to be much

Journal

Journal of Health Politics, Policy and LawDuke University Press

Published: Feb 1, 2000

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