CBO: Effects of Changes to the Health Insurance System on Labor Markets

by Sabrina I. Pacifici on July 13, 2009

Effects of Changes to the Health Insurance System on Labor Markets, July 13, 2009

  • “In the United States, health insurance coverage is linked to employment in ways that can affect both wages and the demand for certain types of workers. That close linkage can also affect people’s decisions to enter the labor force, to work fewer or more hours, to retire, and even to work in one particular job or another…In 2009, at least 150 million people under the age of 65—or about three out of every five nonelderly Americans— are expected to have health insurance that is provided through an employer or other job-related arrangement, such as a plan offered through a labor union. That figure includes active workers, spouses and dependents covered by family policies, and retirees under the age
    of 65. The cost of that insurance is estimated to be, on average, $5,000 for a single plan and $13,000 for a family plan. For people whose income is at 300 percent of the federal poverty level (about $32,500 for a single person without children and $66,000 for a couple with two children), that cost represents between 15 percent and 20 percent of total income.”

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