The current healthcare policy debate in the USA has stressed the fact that a growing number of Americans are going without health insurance coverage. Much of this decline in coverage is due to rising costs affecting employer's provision of health insurance benefits to their employees. One potential avenue for this is through employers changing their employment mix and decreasing the number of employees eligible for such benefits in an effort to reduce costs. In this study we investigate the link between rising employer costs for health insurance benefits and the demand for part-time workers.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The research in this article was conducted while the authors were Special Sworn Status researchers of the US Census Bureau at the Chicago Census Research Data Center. Research results and conclusions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Census Bureau. The content of this article has been screened to ensure that no confidential data are revealed. This research was funded by the Grant-in-Aid of Research, Artistry, and Scholarship Program through the University of Minnesota.
Our primary data source is nonpublic data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey-Insurance Component (MEPS-IC) List Sample 1996–2004, accessed through the Center for Economic Studies by permission of the US Census Bureau. MEPS-IC is a nationally representative annual establishment survey of characteristics of employer-sponsored health insurance funded by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) and collected by the Census Bureau. The survey design and clustering of establishments over time are accounted for in the empirical specification by using survey regression commands in STATA. Because the goal is to measure the effect of health insurance costs on part-time substitution into normally full-time jobs, the unit of analysis is establishments that offer health insurance to full-time employees but not to part-time employees. The sample size is N = 37 635.